Rachael reading at the Common Life Annual Dedication Service, Advent Sunday. (Ewen is in baptisimal!) This is where people undertake to live by ‘The Common Rule’ for the period of the church year. Peter Chapman spoke on the theme “Coming to our Senses” using the text of The Prodigal Luke 15:11-32.
11 Then Jesus said, ‘There was a man who had two sons. 12The 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. 13A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and travelled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. 14When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. 16He would gladly have filled himself with* the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. 17But when he came to himself he said, “How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.’ ” 20So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. 21Then the son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”* 22But the father said to his slaves, “Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!” And they began to celebrate.
25 ‘Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. 27He replied, “Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.” 28Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 29But he answered his father, “Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!” 31Then the father* said to him, “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.” ’
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition)
Les Murray quote about
Aussies going away, charcteristic of many Australian peoples spiritual journey, the desire and need to ‘go away’ from church etc etc….and returning.
Exile, Isaiah 35
Prodigal: Other names for this story lost son, waiting father, 2 sons
The son was in trouble along time before eating with the pigs
He was a long way from home, even when he was home.
So was the older brother and he never left!
The most difficult thing to believe in faith is that God is gracious, is that God is like the father in this story.
Most everyone at some point has said “Im going to take the gift of being alive and being able to create and do what I please with it.”
This is the journey of our culture, the way of life that we have grown up in.
For those of you with children. Some of you will lose relationship and have to learn the love, pain and patience of the waiting God.
If we want to be whole we must journey home…..return to the community and economy of God.
Dorothy Day quote about her conversion being about trying to get to a certain place and not getting sidetracked by the many side roads and distractions.
look around and be thankful for those who are on the journey with you….in this you will find the real meaning of your lives.