The Long Road Back begins with a U-turn_06.Mar.2016(Lent4)

Services of Worship Forums Minister’s Message The Long Road Back begins with a U-turn_06.Mar.2016(Lent4)

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    The goal of Easter is the reconciliation of all things, of people, of the
    creation and of the world. It is bringing near what has been far and
    all that which has drifted apart or left in inglorious contempt. There is
    no greater pain than that of estrangement, and with it, the prolonged
    powerlessness of the waiting that has no guarantee of success.

    The parable, which is what we have come to know as the Prodigal Son,
    poses the question and invites this challenge. Jodi Picoult, Mercy, makes
    this confession, “Three months ago, if you asked me, I would have told
    you that if you really loved someone, you’d let them go. But now … I see
    that I’ve been wrong. If you really love someone, Allie, I think you have
    to take them back.”

    The way of reconciliation through Easter is about being brought near by
    the cross through Jesus who, being nailed to that inglorious cross, brings
    together the waywardness of humanity and the abiding glory of God in
    Christ. God has brought near this inglorious estrangement of the world
    through the self-giving indignity of the Son who brings us back with him
    from the far country to the waiting Father. The meeting place is open
    In this parable the younger son, (take to mean the gentiles) finds himself
    far away among the unclean and repugnant places of the religious world.

    The far country, meanwhile, the older son, (take to mean Israel) stayed
    home and rested in his privileges. Far or near is a matter of a glance.

    It is in the turning, not the clumsy rehearsed words. Because repentance
    is in the turning not the saying. Having turned the slave becomes a son
    again. The slowness of the son’s rehearsed confession is met by the
    unseeming speed of the father who could not wait for his son as he races
    The parable of the prodigal son offers the guarantee through this
    father whose interest is only in the homecoming and the rejoicing that

    Grace and peace, James.

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