Saturday, October 24, 2009

LITN XV, Verses 11 - 32

11. Then, to further make His point about recovery, He told this story: "There was a certain wealthy landowner who had two sons;

12. One day, the younger of the two of them came to his father and said, 'Sir, I want you to give me my inheritance now...all of it...the money, and the part of the property that will eventually be mine, anyway. And without protest, the father did exactly as his son had requested, dividing the estate between them.

13. In almost no time, the younger son gathered up everything that he had, and started out on a grand adventure, journeying into a distant country. Once he arrived at a place that suited him...a place that could accommodate his desire for an extravagant and hedonistic lifestyle...he started throwing money at anything and everything that could bring him pleasure. Before he knew it, he had recklessly wasted his entire fortune in the prodigal pursuit of his passions.

14. As it turned out, when he had spent everything that he had, a terrible famine came upon that country, and he became destitute.

15. Desperate, he went and forced himself on one of the citizens of that country, begging for work. So that man took pity on him and sent him into his fields to feed his hogs.

16. His situation continued to deteriorate to the point that he would gladly have fed on the carob pods that the hogs were eating, because they were eating better than he was at the time, but they couldn't satisfy his extreme hunger. But there was no alternative...nobody could provide him with anything better.

17. Then he came to himself...he looked objectively at the picture of what he had become, and compared it to the picture in his mind of what he knew he was supposed to be. And with that he said, 'How many hired servants on my father's estate have enough food...more than enough to eat, in fact...but here I am, dying of hunger in a land of strangers!

18. I'm going to get myself up, and I'm going to go to my father. And when I see him, I'm going to say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against God, and in your sight.

19. I'm not even worthy to be called your son any longer, seeing as how I have selfishly squandered the inheritance you freely gave me, disgracing your family's good name. Please, sir...if you see fit, just make me like one of your hired servants, and I will work hard for everything I earn.

20. So he got up out of the hog pen, and returned to his father, practicing his repentance speech the whole way there. But while he was still a long way off, his father recognized his emaciated frame, staggering up the road, and was moved with pity and tenderness for him. So, instead of proudly waiting for the son to come all the way to him...and without judgment...and without even thinking about anything that had happened in the past...he just started running toward his boy. And when he reached him, he grabbed him and held him tight, ignoring the stench of the hogs that was still on him, and started kissing him all over his thin, mud-smeared face.

21. And the surprised son went into his rehearsed repentance speech, saying, 'Father, I have sinned against God and in your sight...I'm no longer worthy to be treated as your son...I don't even deserve to be recognized as a son of yours!'

22. But the father didn't need to hear a word of it. He immediately said to one of his bond servants, 'Bring me, this instant, the very best robe...the festive robe reserved for guests of honor...and put it on him...cover him with it. And give him a family signet ring for his hand, and sandals for his feet.

23. And not only that...go bring out that fine, wheat-fattened calf that we've been saving for a special occasion, and butcher it. Tonight we'll pull out all the stops, have a feast fit for a king, and raise the roof with celebration!

24. Don't you see? This is my son who was dead, and is alive again...he was lost and is found!' And with those words, the entire household went into a state of revelry.
25. But while all of this was happening, his older son was out working hard in the field. At the end of a long day's work, he returned to the main house, and as he approached, he heard music and dancing.

26. So he called one of the servant boys to him, and asked him what was going on.

27. The boy excitedly said to him, 'Oh! Haven't you heard? Your little brother has come home, and your father has killed that wheat-fattened calf that he's been saving, and has thrown him a huge party! He's so happy that his son is back, safe and well.'

28. But the elder brother was furious at this news, and began to make a scene. He refused to go inside the house, so his father came out and began to reason with him, trying to calm him down.

29. But he pushed his father away and said, 'Are you kidding me with this?! You can't be serious! All these many years I have served you, and I've never once disobeyed any of your directives. But you've never given me so much as a young goat, so that I might have just a little get-together with my friends.

30. But all of a sudden, when this ungrateful, undisciplined, irresponsible son of yours shows up here, after having devoured your estate by spending everything you gave him on whores and God knows what else, you have killed for him the special wheat-fattened calf!'

31. And the father said to him, 'Oh, buddy...don't you realize that you're always with me, and that everything I have is yours? You can have anything you want at any time...just ask for it.

32. But I'm not going to make any apology for having this feast for your brother. If the celebration goes on all night long, so be's the right thing to do. This brother of yours was dead, and is alive again! He was lost and is found!'"


River said...

Not Lost in the Rapture.
You never know how much you miss someone till you let them out of your life. You'll see how much you really need them.

Northern Light said...

Reckless & Responsible in behavior.

I really enjoy the fact that the son, bold in his request, living large in his dream at that time, did it "his way". When it became a mess, he attempted to work his way out of a dire situation. Then he realizes that others, not fit to be called son, are being treated better by his father, than he ever can be in his situation.

Yet,instead of thinking of it as "my dad will take care of me", he had mustered the maturity to be humble enough and willing to work, as others, but in the safety and knowledge of knowing how his father treats his workers.

This doesn't seem to fit the arrogant request of the young son at the start of the story.

Amazing how some learn from their behaviors, while another might have run crying home to daddy, blaming everything on circumstance, without ever trying to work it out.

I give this kid credit. I know which of my oldest sons this would have been...I just smile.

Peace ~
Northern Light

The King's Cup said...

Bishop, Not all have gone in the rapture. You and I are still here! LOL!!!!

I always loved this passage in scripture and I would like to give you my limited understanding of it if I could.

I see Jesus describing the Father of these two sons as ABBA-FATHER! I see the inheritance as spiritual gifts. I see two sons who loved the gifts but did not know the heart of the giver. One used his gifts recklessly. The other guarded his gifts and considered them as putting him in right relationship with the father. Thus making him the heir. Both knew their father was a very rich man but neither of his sons knew their father's heart.

When the reckless son returned to his father in his brokeness, His father's heart of mercy and love compelled him to run to him. He washed him with his tears and covered his shame and nakeness with a robe of love. Then he restored his name with a ring of covenant.

The older brother was angry because he had been so faithful over that which he had been given, but even tho he knew the gifts and protected them and the family reputation - he was yet to learn of the fruit of his father's heart.

People tell you that if you look at the FACE of our FATHER, HE will move HIS HAND in your behalf. Ah, but FATHER says; If you will look to MY HEART and not to MY FACE, I will drop that which in MY HANDS that I might embrace you in MY ARMS and reveal to you that which is in MY HEART!

Oh, to know HIS HEART! May that the be the deepest cry of all of our hearts!


Clark Kent said...

...whew!...rumors of rapture a hoax! I'm glad no one took the red-eye outta here today.

...heard on radio company guaranteeing that your earthbound pet will be taken care of by atheists in case of your rapture, join now for $115!

...prodigal son comes home today!
...herd of pigs found wandering!

...neighbors complain to authorities of domestic disputes and extended hours of noisy festivities nearby. of unheard of generosity fills the lanes of the village today. Some old man giving away rings and beautiful robes, witnesses say.

stay tuned..."back to you, Bish"

Erik said...

Bishop, absolutely marvelous. LITN continues to Rock!

This segment reminds me of a little adventure last night. I have been out West, sometimes when I get into a certain flow (good one but different latitude or longitude, depending on perspective), I do not apply the summarizing, but just do. Last night I had the enjoyment of a version of The Prodigal Son. Until I just read this, I did not know it, although there were many things in a blessed place I was in, which in some ways could reflect where the younger son went, and in other ways was so full of blessing, the ‘food’ was plentiful.

Without going into each detail, as I re-enter this flow, and read at 3 + AM, I get 1 piece of last night to apply to today. The ‘heathen’ help the self righteous find their own salvation. Those not indoctrinated, help those steeped in doctrine to hear something else. Those that receive & welcome change to their mindset, help those that resist change to their paradigm. Those that are free to re-evaluate, help those who are rigid.

And so it goes. The younger son assists the elder, while the younger changes.

dgm2007 said...

really awesome sermon... missed the emmy thing but congrats

Friend4Life said...

~~still here~~

Anonymous said...

Great service today as always. It was when I learned these great truths many years ago that you both spoke about today that I quit questioning (not doubting) my calling as a minister. I was a little taken back by the decision of COHS to move on seeing what GOD has been doing in these past few weeks. Then again I do understand their need to step back and look at it from a different perspective in their own setting and let The Spirit speak to them. Also I know what a challenge it is to have two very strongly anointed pastors trying to both fulfill their calling at the same time in the same place......

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the whole passage, but my favorite verses were.

17. Then he came to himself...he looked objectively at the picture of what he had become, and compared it to the picture in his mind of what he knew he was supposed to be.
31. And the father said to him, 'Oh, buddy...don't you realize that you're always with me, and that everything I have is yours? You can have anything you want at any time...just ask for it.

Lovin it!