Call me a slow learner, but I think I finally got the story of the Prodigal Son. This parable always bothered me a little bit. I get that the father was super excited when the Prodigal came home and all, but I always felt the other son was very justified in feeling shafted. I would be. I mean if I had been here working my tail off while he ( the Prodigal) is out being reckless, rude and dare I say, having fun! No fair! That calf I've been taking care of you are going to kill so we can have a party for him? Where's the justice?
The Prodigal Son is about a father's love for all of His Children. All of them. Even the ones that don't deserve it. But guess what? None of us deserve His love. Even the so called "good son". His sin of jealousy, and yes pride is just as reckless as the Prodigal.
Are not we all reckless somehow with the Father's love he bestows so freely on all of us? Do we not all sin and come short of the glory of God? (see Romans 3:23) The Father's love is shown through His Only Begotten's Atonement and Sacrifice. And yes all of us are undeserving, reckless, AND in desperate need of our Father's love which He has given so abundantly. When we come unto Him, no matter where we have been, done, felt, it is ours. Unearned.
So what does that have to with humanity and service? Everything.
As followers of Christ, we are instruments in His hands to tell the "good news' of His love. How? Through serving all of God's children, letting His unconditional love shine through us.