Want to help me write a sermon?
On Sunday, March 6, I will be preaching at Middle Collegiate Church. The text is Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32 (the Prodigal Son). I’m currently leaning in two directions and would love to hear which one you resonate with more (and/or any other thoughts or ideas you have).
Take a look at the two directions below and leave a comment with the one you resonate with most.
At some point in our lives we tend to identify as the younger (prodigal) son. We try and find ourselves failing, at the end of our rope, unsure of where to turn and what to do next. In these moments we lift our eyes from the proverbial pig pen and turn to God, only to discover that God is already running towards us, a scandalous love that will never let us go. No matter how far we find ourselves wandering or how far off course the world seems to be, God is never giving up. The scandal of the gospel is that God is always running to us, loving us exactly as we are.
Jesus does what the prodigal son fails to do. The prodigal son leaves the comfort of his heavenly home to embrace the reality and discomfort of the world, only to find himself giving up and returning to his father’s kingdom. Jesus is the younger son, born in a stable and “lying filthy among the livestock.” Only rather than returning to the God of religious oppression and patriarchy, Jesus stays outside the ruling hegemonic religious kingdom of his day. Jesus is the prodigal son who does not return home and instead finds himself crucified, an act of defiance and heresy against the old order. Jesus offers the death of the God of racism, homophobia, sexism, patriarchy, and resurrects a revolutionary love. Following this Jesus, then, means that we are all prodigals, embracing the reality of the world with a radical welcome and a revolutionary love.