prodigal son

SIN: A Deeper Understanding Of Sin, by Timothy Keller

June 30, 2015

From The Prodigal God With this parable [of the Prodigal Son] Jesus gives us a much deeper concept of “sin” than any of us would have if he didn’t supply it.  Most people think of sin as failing to keep God’s rules of conduct, but, while not less than that, Jesus’s definition of sin goes beyond it. In her novel Wise Blood, Flannery O’Connor says of her character, Hazel Motes, that “there was a deep, black, wordless conviction in him that the way to avoid Jesus was to avoid sin.”  This is a profound insight.  You can avoid Jesus as Savior by keeping all the moral laws.  If you do that, then you have “rights.”  God owes you answered prayers, and a good life, and a ticket to [...]

FORGIVENESS: The Prodigal Son Comes Home

April 30, 2015

I could see him from the path.  Up there, on the hill.  Waving at me as though I were old Aunt Bertha coming back from attending some childbirth or something. How did he know that I was coming back?  Who tipped him off? Of course, he may have thought I was someone else. Someone he would be glad to see. Not me. Surely. I can’t believe how he treated me. He cried all over my tunic.  As though on top of everything else I’ve been through – and in – I needed that on my clothes too. What a wimp. Crying over me like I’d just come back from the dead, or something. And there was my brother, Joseph, waddling around, nodding and nodding that fat head of his.  I wonder when the last time he could poke himself and find a [...]

STORY: A Fairy Tale — The Prodigal Daughter Returns, by Connie May Fowler

March 28, 2014

From Circling Faith She had been drawn to the little sea shack nestled betwixt water and sky with the simple purity of a turtle whose true north is a singular spot of sand on an empty beach.  She was happy there.  The details of her life – errands into town, cleaning the house, writing her books – were timed in conjunction with the comings and goings of the Gulf because she loved to wander the beach at low tide and marvel over treasures the sea had momentarily left behind.  On this sandbar she called home, she felt in touch with the Goddess-spirit, with the eternal circle she viewed as sacred (life feeds death; death feeds life).  Troubles seemed less ponderous and joy less threatening in the presence of nature’s rhythms. [...]

THE PRODIGAL SON: To Belong

March 25, 2014

For me, the parable of the prodigal son stands out from all the other parables.  For me, it doesn’t belong to that category of stories Jesus told, inscrutable teachings from the master.  And it isn’t one of those Chinese finger traps, where you go into the story and then find no apparent way out [...]

THE PRODIGAL SON: Redefining Hope — Our Longing for Home, by Timothy Keller

March 25, 2014

From The Prodigal God “He set off for a far country.” It is important to read Jesus’s parable of the lost son in the context of the whole of Luke, chapter 15, but the story has an even larger context.  If we read the narrative in light of the Bible’s sweeping theme of exile and homecoming we will understand that Jesus has given us more than a moving account of individual redemption.  He has retold the story of the whole human race, and promised nothing less than hope for the [...]

THE PRODIGAL SON: Walk With Me Into The Story, by Henri J. M. Nouwen

March 24, 2014

From Home Tonight Read with a vulnerable heart.  Expect to be blessed in the reading.  Read as one awake, one waiting for the beloved.  Read with reverence. (From, A Tree Full of Angels, by Macrina Wiederkehr) From the outset I encouraged you to allow the Scripture story of the return of the prodigal son to descend into you – to move from your mind into your heart – so that images in this story become etched in your [...]

SPIRITUALITY: Jesus’s Story of Divine Forgiveness, by Roger Haight

December 8, 2013

From Christian Spirituality For Seekers Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons.  The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’  So he divided his property between them.  A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living.  When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need.  So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs.  He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything.  But [...]

SERMON: The Prodigal Son, by Billy Graham

December 2, 2012

Now tonight, let’s turn to the 15th chapter of Luke.  I’m not going to read the passage because it’s too long, but it is a familiar story that all of us have read and heard since childhood.  It is called, “The Story of the Prodigal Son.”  That’s what we call it.  There are many ways we could term this passage from Luke’s Gospel.  It could be called, “The Story of the Loving Father.”  It could be called, “The Story of the Church Member Without Christ,” because that is exactly what the elder brother was. But tonight I want to dwell on the story of this boy because he was a rebel.  He rebelled against his father.  And you know what I read the other day?  That over two thousand young people who run away from home [...]

REFLECTION: The Prodigal Son

November 30, 2012

A few years ago now I sat through an Advent Quiet Day that focused on Henri Nouwen’s book about the parable of the prodigal son. I was very impressed that a man, not usually found leading quiet days, but for whom I felt great respect for the depth and sensitivity of his observations, was leading it. And I grew even more impressed as he took on each of the three roles expressed in the parable and dressed himself up, so to speak, in each one’s part of the play.  I couldn’t imagine myself doing that, considering myself as each one, each different one: the casting-off, cast-off younger son; the open-hearted, open-handed father; the self-absorbed, whining older brother. That is a lot of personas to find in oneself. As I sat there in the [...]

SERMON: The Prodigal Son by James Weldon Johnson

November 30, 2012

Young man— Young man— Your arm’s too short to box with God. But Jesus spake in a parable, and he said: A certain man had two sons Jesus didn’t give this man a name, But his name is God Almighty. And Jesus didn’t call these sons by name, But ev’ry young man, Ev’rywhere, Is one of these two sons. And the younger son said to his father, He said: Father, divide up the property, And give me my portion now. And the father with tears in his eyes said: Son, Don’t leave your father’s house. But the boy was stubborn in his head, And haughty in his heart, And he took his share of his father’s goods, And went into a far-off country. There comes a time, There comes a time When ev’ry young man looks out from his father’s house, [...]