Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.
— Luke 15: 25-32

We are angry because we feel we deserve more prominent recognition. Better seat, better treatment, better rewards. We are angry that the Father would not even tell us what happened. He just disappeared into the party, forgot to call us in while we were at work, doing our best for His household. How can He be happy having the younger Church back. He is not asking questions, just suddenly giving him the ring, the robe and the sandals like nothing matters any more. Suddenly he has the best seat with all the perks and everyone seems to be fine with that. Meanwhile, we still slave at the fields, in the heat, in the rain, in the season and out of season. Same ol' job, as always.

We are lost because our steadfastness turned into stiff obligation. We think we can work harder for the heartful laughter of the Father who always seems to be pondering the next step. We quietly try to read His mind and do the mundane without murmuring but there is an end to even the most holy obedience when we do not see any approval in the eyes of the Father, just the tears. 

We refuse to go into the house full of laughter because we have been working so hard an no one noticed for so long yet when the younger Church shows up, everyone has all the fun, cool parties and even the culture celebrates it. We scoff them saying they live on emotional hype, they celebrate easily the surface images, lacking virtues and the test of time while we walk with the the stoic joy caught in the marble cherubs flying in our cathedrals, frozen in time for ages to come. 

The Father finally comes out and asks us in but that's just too much to deal with. Let the extraverts dance, we will retrospect and rely on reason. We are too sophisticated for resentment, we will find a pious phrase which will acknowledge our correctness. Our justified pout will be ransomed by few quotes and a jovial sigh at the infantile behavior of the young Church. We are jealous of its appeal, power shown in signs and wonders and effectiveness but we present it as a concern, scrupulously writing blog posts what could go wrong and cautioning all (dying) around not to get involved. 

The Voice resounds throughout eons of times: all is yours, taste and see, partake. Trust me in this. 

Author: Iwona Bednarz-Major