This excerpt from Stories from the Storyteller by Jonathan Evans puts a modern spin on the parable of the prodigal son so that children can better understand that God’s unconditional love for us doesn’t follow what we typically think of as fair. And aren’t we thankful that God doesn’t give us what we deserve? Share this this fun story with your children today.
The entire Evans family, all seven of them, along with Tyson, their trusty dog, were stuffed into their van. Today was a big day. They were on their way to the wildest theme park in the state—perhaps even the country.
Kam squealed. “I’ve been waiting for decades for this day to come!”
“You’re seven,” Kelsey reminded him.
Mrs. Evans held up seven park cards. “We have only so many credits to use at the park. If we manage our credits right, we’ll have a great day.”
Mr. Evans pointed out that a special surprise may be waiting at the end.
The park was filled with all sorts of exciting things. Arcade games. Tasty food. And amazing roller coasters.
Kam and Kylar begged for their cards right away. “We wanna go to the arcade first,” Kylar whined.
Mr. Evans reminded them to save their credits. “Once these are used up, that’s it.”
Kam and Kylar took off running for the games, barely listening.
Kylar and Kam sprinted from game to game. They both swiped their cards over and over, hoping to finally win the elusive stuffed panda and reach the next level.
Finally, the machines buzzed at the kids. “What? No credits!” they both shouted.
Kylar and Kam found their mom and dad outside.
Mr. Evans laughed. “You burned through all your credits in ten minutes?”
Mrs. Evans sighed. “I wish you would have let us manage your credits.”
“Sorry, we got nothin’ for ya,” Mr. Evans stated as the family walked off.
Bored, Kam and Kylar sat on a park bench while their family enjoyed the fun rides.
It was finally the end of the day when J2 asked, “So what’s the big surprise?”
“King Mountain Pizza Buffet!” Mr. Evans announced.
The hungry family went inside to eat the delicious, hot pizza— except for Kam and Kylar. They did not have the credits to get in.
Suddenly Mr. Evans appeared, holding two new cards of credits. “You guys hungry?”
Kylar and Kam ran and hugged their dad, feeling very grateful.
Kam and Kylar were excited to join their family for pizza.
J2 looked frustrated. “Why do they get to eat pizza?” he asked.
Kelsey added, “We saved our points! They shouldn’t get to join in the surprise.”
Mr. Evans began to tell a story. “Today reminded me of a parable Jesus told about a man who had two sons. The youngest son asked his father to give him half of everything he owned.
“The son quickly spent all of his inheritance on junk and couldn’t even afford food. He was filled with regret and went home to apologize.
“The father saw his son coming and ran out to welcome and forgive him. He even threw him a huge party.”
“The older brother didn’t think it was fair and didn’t join the party.” “God is always willing to wrap us in His arms, forgive us, and welcome us back home when we mess up,” Mr. Evans explained.
“I’m sorry I got mad at you, Kam,” J2 apologized.
“I’m sorry too, Kylar. At the time I thought it was unfair, but now I see that the Lord was using it to teach us both a big lesson,” Kelsey added.
“I forgive you, Sis. Does this mean I can use some of that fancy perfume you got for Christmas?” Kylar asked.
“Don’t push it, kid,” responded Kelsey, smiling.
Based on the animated series (available through RightNow Media), Stories from the Storyteller features modern retellings of many of Jesus’s parables, teaching young people important biblical truths through fun family adventures. This storybook is ideal for family reading time.