In Part One of this Prodigal Son meets Prodigal Band sub-series using Biblical References is recounted the ‘riotous living’ of the band using the talent ‘inheritance’ given to the six band members using their fame and fortunes. In Part Two is recounted their spiritual wastelands and empty lives of alcoholism, drug abuse and personal emptiness. In this Part Three, the prodigal band is coming to grips with the fact that they must turn their lives around and at the same time, spiritual forces of Good are aiding their efforts by giving them ‘missions of God’ beginning in Chapter Nine of The Prophesied Band. The spirit being known as the ‘witch of the Hovels,’ aka Morwenna in The Prodigal Band, tells them that The Tooters, God’s angels, will ‘reveal’ their missions ‘of God’ to them as they perform at the local trade and music festival in the middle of July, 2000. In Chapter Ten, their missions are given to them by The Tooters simultaneously as singer Erik holds the final note of a song for over one minute to end the festival.
Here are the verses that are being considered in this post from Luke 15: 18-20:
15:18: “I will arise and go to my father, and I will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before thee”
15:19: “And am no more worthy to be called they son: make me as one of thy hired servants.”
Verse 20 begins by saying ‘And he arose, and came to his father.’
But while they are willing to carry out their ‘missions,’ they would prefer not to ‘do missions on themselves’ so to speak. While their missions involve spreading the Good News about accepting Christ as Savior, they are not necessarily willing to accept Christ themselves. They believe they’ve been ‘too sinful’ and doubt they could even consider accepting Christ. But that nagging feeling haunts them, knowing that not doing so while being “missionaries” makes them hypocrites. It is the commitment to ‘being hired’ by Christ that is standing in the way. Such that it will take a special nudge by spiritual Good to get them to choose to be ‘hired.’ This happens in the spiritual void they find themselves in Chapter Eleven of The Prodigal Band.
In a previous chapter a former roadie named Bobby had composed a song meant for the band; the song was purchased by a Christian record label to be delivered to them by an official of that company. After receiving a floppy disc with the song, the six visit Bobby at his house in the Sierra Nevadas of northern California and they agree to use the song. Shortly after that, the band must go to London for a ‘directorate’ meeting when a calamity happens: their jet ‘catches fire’ after it lands at the airport. At that moment, they find themselves in a white spiritual void where they meet the image of Bobby, and where they make their ‘hired’ commitment; it was the same kind of void where the ‘souls’ of singer Erik and bassist Keith ‘inhabited’ while they were having mild heart attacks in Chapter Ten of Battle of the Band. This snippet is from Chapter Eleven of the Prodigal Band.
“Fancy meeting you here,” Erik smiled.
Keith went up to him. “This is the place, eh bro?”
“Yeh. Same place, but no black holes and no other people. But how’d we get here?” Then the singer dropped his jaw. “Are we—?”
The bassist anticipated the question. “No. We not dead.”
“You sure, bro?”
“We’re on a mission of God, eh? Not a mission to God.”
A glowing light turned on in Manning’s brain. “Well, that explains it, then!” He waved his arms with such joy he wanted to jump on the others with the news. “We’re on a mission of God but now we’re on a mission to God! That way, God can tell us what He wants us to do!”
Jack was nonplused, but turned annoyed. “Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute!” He stood there, hands on hips in disbelief. “God isn’t some guy you meet on the street! Like you really, really think the Almighty God, Jehovah, Yahweh, whatever, is going to deign to face pipsqueaks like us and put us in a circle around Him and tell us big-time unrepentant sinners what He wants us to do?” He then marched up to the singer. “Are you freaking out of your freaking mind? Who do you think we are? Ezekiel, Daniel, Elijah, Jeremiah, Moses and David?”
Jack slumped, exasperated. “I thought you said you were reading the— Never mind!”
Tom said, “They’re Biblical prophets, right?”
“Not all of ‘em,” Jack answered. “Moses was the guy who took the Jews out of Egypt. David was the guy who slew Goliath with a sling shot. The other guys are big time prophets.”
“Why?” Erik wanted to know.
“Why were they prophets?” Jack had to think fast. “Because according to the Bible, God told them to say things to the Jews like repent from your sins and stuff like that, ‘cos if they didn’t, God would destroy them. And basically, that’s what happened. Most of the Jews— they had twelve tribes, but ten of them were wiped out. They were conquered, then scattered. The other two tribes were taken by the Babylonians, but later they returned. Anyway, God punished ‘em ‘cos they wouldn’t stop sinning. Something like that.”
“Okay, I get the picture!” But the singer got going. “But that brings us back to what we were saying months ago when we were given this mission. Why would God choose us unrepentant sinners to do this mission? Which leads us to why would God bring us here to tell us what—”
Jack flew off the handle. “I didn’t say that, you did! You’re the one who’s saying we got raptured up here!”
Keith’s eyes popped out. “You mean, this is THE rapture?”
“What rapture?” Bry asked.
“You know, THE rapture in those ‘end-times’ novels. That’s when all the Christians get taken up into Heaven—”
Jack shouted for effect. “It’s NOT the rapture! Bloody shit!”
Tom shot back, “No cussing in Heaven.”
(Later, while meeting Bobby in the void)
“Bobby!” Jack exploded. “Wha—”
The others had calmed.
“Yes, I have the image of Bobby. You’re right, Bry, this is a construct, and you’re right, Erik, this is like the place you and Keith were in when your hearts stopped. But this place is three-dimensional, yet without shadows, so it only looks two-dimensional. Plus, there is no wind, no temperature, no taste, no touch, no smell, and no sights and sounds other than what is necessary.”
“So, this isn’t Heaven,” Tom conjectured.
“No, but you have been raptured.”
Keith blurted, “Then this IS—”
“No, it’s not THE rapture. Just A rapture.”
“Why?” Jack asked.
“You were taken here to keep you safe. Your jet is on fire.”
A collective “What?” fired out of their mouths.
“Yeah. Someone planted a bomb under, or right next to, Bry’s seat. They botched the job, because it didn’t explode properly. Mainly, it is smoldering, smoking. The thing of it is, though, it could ignite something else. The jet has landed, okay, and one of the pilots is starting to investigate.”
“But what if the pilot sees we’re gone?” Tom asked.
“He won’t. When he gets back to your cabin, you’ll be there, unharmed. The other pilot will have called for help by the time the first pilot realizes what’s going on.”
“But we’ve been here a long time,” Jack said.
“There is no time here. You were taken out of time. It might seem like you’ve been here a long time, but in fact, on Earth, no time has transpired at all. This really is a three-dimensional space. Earth exists in four dimensions: length, width, height, and time. There is no time here.”
They let that sink in, murmuring.
“So how far are we from Earth?” Mick asked.
“Are we on an alien space ship?” Keith asked, snorting.
“No, you’re in what you might call a parallel universe. I only call it that because I don’t know how else to explain it to you. It isn’t Heaven and it isn’t Hell. Some people believe Heaven and Hell are parallel universes coexisting with the one you live in. Some believe they are located inside black holes. The thing is, both places exist. But this place isn’t either of them.”
But that didn’t satisfy Jack, who shouted, “So then why the hell are we here? Why were we saved from something that isn’t even a disaster?”
“Because the disaster that didn’t happen now will happen later. Maybe the job wasn’t botched at all, but was deliberately set as a warning only. You are going to a Directorate meeting, right?”
“Right. Who told you that?”
“You’ll find out later. Anyway, when you get to the meeting, you will either have to do as they say, or oppose them. They will give you a choice, and you will have to choose.”
“Between them and your mission.”
“But, we’ve already chosen the mission.”
“You will have to reaffirm your mission, because they don’t want you to complete your mission.”
“How do you know that?”
Smirk. “Easy, Jack. Whether the business on the jet is a disaster or not, whether they had someone plant a bomb or not, it’s pretty obvious they don’t want you completing your mission. Do you even remember what that mission is?”
Snort and a smirk. “Yeh, to lead the youth to God.”
“Yeah, but when you say God you mean Jesus Christ. Heck, anyone can claim to believe in God. It’s like my song says, Jesus is the Way and the Life, and no one gets to God but through Him. So you are back to the same dilemma you were in before at my place. You debated if you had to become Christian or not. That you’d be hypocritical if you tried to lead the youth to Christ without being Christians yourselves. That you can’t be Christians since you’re all such unrepentant sinners. The thing is, there will come a moment when all at once you are going to have to decide once and for all, and you will have to verbally confess and repent of your sins. Or not. Oh, yeah, and don’t expect any of that ‘greatness and glory’ you guys are always pushing. If you do this mission and go through the motions of deluding yourselves that you’re Christians just because you manage to convince yourselves you are, forget it. You do it for the Glory of God or not at all. You commit yourselves to Christ, or forget it. It’s either Christ, or the pleasures and the lifestyle and the wealth and the superstardom and the power you have now, which, I’m sure you realize by now, you have because they allow you to have it. They let you keep the trappings of your success, but God gave you the means to achieve it. Don’t think either one can’t be taken away. It is God’s Will that Torquay and the others ‘made’ you, let you compile all that wealth and fame, for the simple reason that you now have the financial means and notoriety to complete His plan for you, which is to lead the youth to Christ by your own example of following Christ yourselves. The young will know Christ needs to be in their hearts because they will see your example of Christian living, and by that I don’t mean dressing, socializing, so-called ‘conservative’ politics, and talking as if you lived in the Old Testament times, okay? I mean by your charity or love, your faith and your hope. By what Jesus said. Love God, and love your neighbor. It’s up to you.”
(Later, they meet the ‘witch,’ Morwenna, who had told Bobby to get his song to the prodigal band)
The image of the Witch of the Hovels appeared in the midst of them. Jack was so startled he found himself nearly falling over backwards.
“Whoa!” the guitarist blurted.
“As I have explained to you before,” she scolded, “the last time we met, that when Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and then resurrected 2,000 years ago, it was His shedding of blood that became the ultimate and final sacrifice to His Father for sin, for all sinners, for all time. To receive redemption from your many sins for all time, you must proclaim that He is your Savior, that He rose from the dead to save from sin, and repent, that is, have a change of heart and try not to sin again. It requires a commitment from each of you, not just empty words. Because only He can bring remission from sin and nothing you ever do will accomplish this, which is why He is your Savior. How you receive this redemption I just told you. Whether you receive it or not is up to you. You must want Christ as Savior and Redeemer. God won’t force it on you. You have a choice.”
(And then they ‘become hired servants to their Father’)
“Well,” Erik said boldly as he stood up, “I believe it. That’s what Morwenna was trying to tell me, and I kept arguing with her. But she got me, okay? She put me in my place. She’s like my mother, except holy. I can’t disregard what she says. She’s never lied, cheated, stole, acted all obsequious and then stabbed me in the back like others have done. She is the embodiment of truth.” He then turned to the others. “And you know something? Ger believes it, too. So, even though I don’t know all the details and I’ve never been baptized—do I even need to be baptized? I will tell you all now that I accept Christ as my Savior.” Sigh, as the others looked at each other. “There, I said it. I’m saved. And now, I can officially do the mission without the guilt trip.” Smiled. “It’s that easy. And you know something? I feel great!”
They still looked at each other, and finally said almost simultaneously, “Me, too.”
“But,” Jack reminded, “the test of whether we really believe is still to come.”
“Yeh,” Tom added, “with Torquay and the rest of the devil’s minions.”
The final snippet referencing this parable and the ‘jealous’ brother of the prodigal son will appear next week.
The Prodigal Band Trilogy © 2019 by Deborah Lagarde, Battle of the Band © 1996 by Deborah Lagarde, The Prophesied Band © 1998 by Deborah Lagarde and The Prodigal Band © 2018 by Deborah Lagarde. Permission needed to copy any materials off this page.