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(07-03-18) The Prodigal Son - Luke 15.1-3, 11b-32

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Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

Now the tax collectors and ‘sinners’ were all gathering round to hear him. 2But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them.”

3Then Jesus told them this parable:

11b“There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no-one gave him anything.

17“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ 20So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

Lots of sermons

o a great story because it means something; lots of things

Various points:

·    disrespect of the son ‘I wish you were dead’

·    disgrace of the son – feeding pigs

·    repentance of the son

·    running father

·    father’s interjection

·    older son’s indignation

·    Pharisees and the older son

·    father’s graciousness

·    celebration in heaven and on earth

·    parallels with the exile

Wonderful things that we can learn about God the Father

o but incredibly difficult to apply practically to our lives


Which son are you? Both, probably!

·    Coming back to the Father when you know how much you need forgiveness / how much forgiveness you need…

o Betty’s story of the family in Rome (only at 9:30am)

o story about hitting my sister! (at both services)

·    Treating your brother as equally loved, even when they have done all that you despise and have tried to avoid.

o Jill’s story of being a single mother (only at 8am!)

o Reference to the day’s reading from 2 Corinthians – again at the 8am only!

How did the party go?

·    did the son join in or continue his protest?

Life after the party?

·    how did the two sons treat each other?

Father’s unconditional, abundant, unfailing love.

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