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”

Second Chances

3.24.19:  Luke 13:1-9     Fellow children of God, in New Zealand, brothers and sisters at prayer, have been gunned down in an unnatural disaster that is becoming all too commonplace in our day and time. Why do people harbor such hate? —we rail at God, at Jesus, at anyone who will listen. Why do bad things happen to unsuspecting people? Is there a message in these atrocities for the rest of us? Whose fault is it? It is our human nature to want to point the finger somewhere.
Jesus’ contemporaries were very accustomed to the idea that an atrocity signaled sin, either on the part of the victim or the victim’s ancestors. Continue reading “Second Chances”