Jesus told the best stories. Not just because he could relate his stories to those around him by using their everyday experiences. Not just because there was something about him that was more attractive than others. But because his stories revealed a Truth that brought peace and hope. Jesus' parables are some of the most well-known stories in the Bible. One of the most popular, if you can call any one of his stories more popular than others, is the story of the Prodigal Son. For those of us who are familiar with it, we understand what it means when someone labels another individual a "prodigal." But do you know what the word prodigal actually means? Prodigal means wasteful! Not quite what you'd expect.
In the year 1932, being wasteful was a sin in the eyes of those who worked very hard to survive. After the stock market crashed in the United States in 1929, prices skyrocketed while income plummeted. The average national income was $1,652.00 a year. People were desperately trying to stay afloat, not only financially but emotionally and spiritually. Google "Great Depression stories" and you'll be surprised at the things you'll find. The generation now that is quickly passing away (the group of people some refer to as "The Greatest Generation") is made up of those who were children during the Great Depression. You've probably heard your grandmother exclaim, "Don't throw that away! We can use it for something!" No one in 1932 dared throw anything away.
1932 and the Great Depression is one of the best settings for the story of the Prodigal Son. Any setting, really, fits this story! But, Redeemer's Song Ministries and Christ Family Film Productions sets Jesus' original story in this setting because of it's unique historical value and the relevance the "waste not, want not" mentality has when it comes to the idea of someone becoming a prodigal.
Take the time tonight to read the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke, chapter 15. Enjoy Jesus' story as we prepare to tell it again through film when we premiere He Leadeth Me, written and directed by Sarah R. Larson and produced by Christ Family Film Productions, Father's Day 2012.