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  • Reanne Powell

The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen



Lent is beginning this week, and it got me reflecting on what spiritual books I want to read, as well ones I’ve read in the past.


I read this book a couple years ago. It is a beautiful reflection on the parable of the prodigal son and Rembrandt’s famous painting. The chapters take you through meditations on the younger son, the elder son, and the father, and insights on the art itself.


If you’ve ever wanted to dive deeper into this parable of mercy and forgiveness, check this one out.


Find it at your local bookstore or purchase online:

Canada: Paperback - Kindle - Audio



From the back cover:


A chance encounter with a reproduction of Rembrandt’s The Return of the Prodigal Son catapulted Henri Nouwen on an unforgettable spiritual adventure. Here he shares the deeply personal and resonant meditation that led him to discover the place within where God has chosen to dwell.


As Nouwen reflects on Rembrandt’s painting in light of his own life journey, he evokes a powerful drama of the classic parable in a rich, captivating way that is sure to reverberate in the hearts of readers. Nouwen probes the several movements of the parable: the younger son’s return, the father’s restoration of sonship, the elder son’s resentfulness, and the father’s compassion. The themes of homecoming, affirmation, and reconciliation will be newly discovered by all who have known loneliness, dejection, jealousy, or anger. The challenge to love as God loves, and to be loved as God’s beloved, will be seen as the ultimate revelation of the parable known to Christians throughout time, and is here represented with a vigor and power fresh for our times.

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