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The Prodigal Son

The parable of the prodigal son, told in Luke 15, is a complex story with many, many facets and lessons to consider. It feels like too much to address in a single sermon with a single theme. Therefore, I've decided to tacle this as a three part sermon series told from the perspectives of the main characters. 

The prodigal son is a selfish, self-centered young man who insists on taking his share of the inheritance before his father is dead. Then he proceeds to squander the money on "reckless living," finds himself without a job and starving before finally recognizing the value of home and family. He returns home repentant, wiser, and much more humble, and is surprised to find himself welcomed home, loved and forgiven. When have we been the younger son? When have we been selfish? When have we made poor decisions? When have we been in need of forgiveness? When did we learn humility the hard way? (To watch video, click here.)

The elder son seemingly has it made as the first born, the one to receive the bulk of his father's inheritance, not to mention his father's blessing and authority over the property. The elder son stayed home taking care of the fields and his family while his younger brother was out carousing, and he is none too happy to see his return celebrated. Angry and resentful, he refuses to join the party welcoming his brother home. And while his father praises him and implores him to be part of the celebration, we're left not knowing what the elder son is going to do. When are we the elder son? When do we feel that life isn't fair, or we're not appreciated? When do we refuse to show compassion for another because our ego gets in the way? 

Finally, the father challenges us to consider what unconditional love really looks like. He is forgiving, generous and affectionate, even though his is the one who should perhaps be the angriest. Defying expectations, the father is ecstatic over the return of his wayward son and throws him a party beyond his wildest imagination. When are we the father? When are we full of forgiveness and love, even without it being asked of us? When can we let go of anger and find understanding?

I invite you to watch the videos of these weeks as they are available so that you can engage the characters in a deeper way and explore how they resonate (or not) with you.

Lenten blessings,