Joshua relates how our ancestors entered the Promised Land and ate the Passover meal to remember their passing over from slavery to freedom.
Paul reminds us that we are free, we are “a new creation” and in our freedom we have the “ministry of reconciliation.”
And Jesus tells us in Luke’s Gospel that we are all called to be like God; forgiving, compassionate. Please read the parable slowly and prayerfully and find yourself in the story.
The wonderful parable of the father and his two sons is probably the most compelling story about the unbelievable love and compassion of our God.
It is the heart of what it means to be a Christian. As we read the parable we can certainly see ourselves as the “prodigal son,” who has squandered the gifts we have been given, been selfish, been egocentric, not a nice person.
But if we can just remember that our God keeps showering us with grace, even when we are alienating ourselves from God, then we can only hope and pray that one day we, like the wayward son, will come running back to a compassionate father. And God’s arms will be open!
Unfortunately, we also act like the son who stayed home and followed all the rules and regulations and now sees what appears to be a great injustice done to him.
He too is selfish, egocentric, not a nice person. And in spite of his selfishness and hatred for his brother, his father too, reaches out and loves him so much.
He could not see that his brother was dead and is now alive. He could not rejoice in it.
God has been consistent with both of his sons. God’s grace and infinite love has embraced them both. Both were dead!
And one knew it and came home and the other did not know it. What is the greater sin, to live a life of sinful pleasure or to live a life of rigidity and external faithfulness, but have no heart?
Our goal is to be like the father. And that means that we live knowing just how much we are loved and that love is so immense that it will include those who have fallen and are on the way home and the self-righteous often “church-going” person who somehow feels that there is not enough love to go around.
It is hard to be forgiving, especially if someone has hurt us. But think of the father in the story. Both of his sons hurt him. Neither one really deserved his love.
But, like our God, he was compassion and forgiving and never able to break the covenant that he made with us. I think he was especially forgiving to the son who stayed at home who should have known better since he shared his father’s table everyday.
Come and worship with us at 8 or 10:30 on Sunday. We are at 4051 N. 25th Street.