The Beginning of the End/The End of the Beginning

4.14.19  Luke 19:28-40  Today marks the beginning of the end. The palms are waving. The coats are laid out on the ground. Miraculously a colt who has not yet been tamed is willing to carry an adult on his back down the hill into the city. People are cheering and rejoicing. It has all appearances of a parade. But we know what lies ahead. A meal with a traitor. An arrest. A mock trial. The death penalty on a hill.
Jesus has had his face set toward Jerusalem since the transfiguration back in chapter 9 of this gospel. For 10 chapters he has been on this journey, traveling, teaching, preaching, getting his message across. And now this is the beginning of the end. Jerusalem was to be his final stop. He knew what lay ahead as he looked down upon the city in the valley from the Mount of Olives. Continue reading “The Beginning of the End/The End of the Beginning”

The Forgiving Father

3.31.19:  Luke 15:11-32     I’d like to begin this morning with a brief survey. Just one question. Which son do you most relate to—the younger or the older? It may have nothing to do with your birth order, just the behavior, the attitude, the actions. I am going to ask you to make a choice and to actually stand up this morning. If you more relate to the younger son, please stand. If you more relate to the older son, please stand.
This parable is most often referred to as the parable of the prodigal son. Prodigal means wasteful. The younger of the two sons is described as being rude enough to ask for his inheritance while his dad is still alive, turning his back on his family, his community, his religious background, definitely making poor decisions. Maybe because there is universal disdain toward the younger son we tend to identify this as a story about him. But what about the older of the two? The one who is also selfish, jealous and ungracious, the one who has an anger management problem and has no room for forgiveness, either toward his brother or his father. Continue reading “The Forgiving Father”