Missing Person

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#121: “Missing Person”
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Luke 15:11-32

11Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons.

12The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them. 13"Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17"When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' 20So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' 22"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate. 25"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.' 28"The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!' 31"'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.

32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'"

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“Missing Person” is episode #121 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Paul McCusker, and originally aired on July 28, 1990.


Various Odyssey residents search for Rodney Rathbone after he disappears.


It's carnival time in Odyssey, and young Rodney Rathbone is missing. Officer Patrick O'Ryan is investigating at Whit's End. He interviews Rodney's father, Bart. Bart is impatient and thinks that O'Ryan isn't doing enough to find Rodney. When O'Ryan suggests that Rodney might have run away, Bart gets angry and walks off to the woods, where Rodney was last seen going to baseball practice that morning.

O'Ryan then makes his way over to Jay Brandt's house. Jay, a member of the Bones of Rath, mentions that Rodney skipped out on baseball practice because he hates the game, so there's no use looking for Rodney around there.

Meanwhile, Isaac Morton and Lucy Cunningham-Schultz are walking through the woods when they see Officer O'Ryan at Rodney's house. Isaac wishes Rodney would get arrested, but Lucy tells him that isn't very Christian. They stumble through the woods (following Isaac's "shortcut") and find the old Gower barn.

Isaac goes inside the barn and finds...Rodney! He's trapped under some boards because it collapsed. Lucy goes for help as Isaac stays behind. Rodney tells Isaac that his dad is so angry and doesn't listen to him, but Isaac tells Rodney that his dad really loves him.

Later, after the rescue team arrives on the scene, Bart and Rodney agree to talk about the softball issue. Bart reaffirms his love for his son. Rodney wonders if Isaac was right after all.

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did Rodney run away?
  2. The Bible tells us to honor our parents. Why was it dishonoring to Rodney's parents when he ran away?
  3. How could you help a friend who is determined to run away?


Heard in episode

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Doris Rathbone Patrick O'Ryan
Jerry Morton Isaac Morton
Doc Morton Isaac Morton
Tom Riley Isaac Morton





Rodney Rathbone: He'll kill me when he finds out!

Rodney Rathbone: I hate baseball. I'd rather be working on my minibike.

Patrick O'Ryan: Dispatch has sent his description out in a wire throughout the state. It doesn't matter if he's in a car, train, plane, boat or a tricycle. If he's been taken out of Odyssey, they'll find him.

John Whittaker: But why would Rodney run away? He's a tough kid. I can't imagine him running away from anything.
Patrick O'Ryan: Hmm... how 'bout his father?

Bart Rathbone: Rodney? You don't know him like I do.
Patrick O'Ryan: Do ya know him, Bart?

Isaac Morton: I thought you didn't want to be rescued.
Rodney Rathbone: Are you kidding? I'd rather be rescued and have to deal with my dad than sit around here and have more counseling sessions with you.
Isaac Morton: Thanks, Rodney. I like you, too.