Photo of mmopriests dog Ruby wondering why her "brother" thinks he's so special just because he can balance a ball on his nose...
This parable in Luke is perhaps one of the best known or all texts. It is also controversial and confusing. Why would the father welcome back THAT son? And, for all intents and purposes IGNORE the other son, the one who has been good all these years?
It's a story all too familiar with anyone who has siblings...the, "Mom/Dad always loved you best" paradigm. Which was particularly hurtful if you were not the one best loved.
On the other hand....we want to think of God as One who does not have "favorites" in the same way our human parents/family/friends do. We want a God who loves all equally. And we can almost believe this...until we come to scripture readings like this. And then. Well. And then we have to wrestle with the text. Or let the text wrestle with us. Until we understand it at a deeper level...
What? you mean it may not really be about MY brother? It may be about the church that has gone astray from God's desire? A church that is more invested in its own money, resources, building, spending....than it is concerned about doing God's mission in the world?
Well. I am not preaching on Sunday. But I have preached on this text many times over the years. And I love find the layers of subtext within the text. Like all of Jesus' parables, this one is rich in depth.
So, where are you going with the reading? Are you focusing on the Gospel or are you drawn to Paul's second letter to the Corinthians? Or to the reading in Joshua? Or maybe the Psalm? What ever text is calling to you, share your thoughts here. Struggling? Share your concerns here. Post a draft and we'll read it and offer comments, if you like. We're here to help, support, and party on toward Sunday. Pull up a chair, would you like coffee or tea?