Have you ever had to draw a boundary with someone you love that was excruciatingly difficult? The kind where you feel you have been cornered at last – and you have no other option but to cut them off somehow? The kind where their choices and/or behavior have tied your hands so that you are no longer able to reach to them, help them or have relationship any more? It’s a difficult place to find oneself. I think we sometimes live in denial that it is a real place because it is so painful to have to arrive there. But the Bible is full of stories of this kind of extreme breaking of relationship. Isaiah chapter one describes the raw emotion of just such a scenario.

As I was reading Hosea 2 today, I wondered if this is where Jesus got the idea for the parable of the Prodigal Son. I found, as I compared and contrasted the stories, that they complement and complete one another. Together they are like a musical composition that has various parts that combine synergistically to make exquisite, melodious harmony.