March 25

MUSIC AND DANCING!

"As he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing And he was angry, and would not go in."--- Luk 15:25-28.

THE ELDER brother heard the sounds of music and dancing as he drew nigh to the house. They were the chord of the house, because they were the chord which was ringing through the heart of the Master and Father. Every household is more or less attuned to the spirit of those who are at its head. There is a warning here for us not to carry our moods and worries home, lest we lower and depress the tone of all the inmates of our family circle!

The father's joy at the return of his younger son was highly infectious. As the Greek suggests, there were three grades of servants in the house, evidently a great household--and the whole of them were abandoned to exuberant joy. Not a girl who did not smarten up and dress herself in her best; not a lad who did not polish his buttons. The effect was the more remarkable as contrasted with the dark clouds which, during the last few years, had enveloped them all, the reflection of the sorrow of the master!

But ought there not to have been a similar outburst of joy in respect to the elder brother? Not that he had come back, but that he had never gone astray! not that he was a forgiven wastrel, but that he had never transgressed at any time his father's commandment! But no fatted calf was killed in his honour; no music and dancing celebrated his adherence to the home! Was this quite fair?

But there were compensations. "Thou art ever with me, and all that I have is Thine." "If children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ." All things are ours in Him. Like Enoch, we may always walk with God and have fellowship with Him. The prodigal may have his music and dancing, but is it not better to have a life cultured in love, radiant with peace and joy, unbroken in its even tenor and happiness? No! we will not grudge him one hour of exultation, but give us God's best and sweetest gift--an unclouded heart, rest, serenity, peace, the daily love of God our Father shed abroad within us, as we live in His dear presence!

PRAYER

Take from my heart, Heavenly Father, all hatred and malice, all envy and jealousy, and everything which would cause a breach between me and others; that nothing may prevent the inflowing of Thy love to my heart, and its outflowing towards others. AMEN.