March 31, 2019
On this fourth Sunday in Lent, we hear the parable of the Prodigal Son. Jesus’ story looks like a cross between a sit-com about a dysfunctional family, and an episode of The Price is Right. Jesus does mean for us to grasp it as a reality show; both what God’s really like and what we’re like.
The story’s so familiar, its rawness and rudeness can escape us. These boys say and do nasty things. Likewise, their daddy does unwarranted things, in undignified ways.
During Lent, we focus on our own schemes and scams in golden-calf country. We can hold Jesus’ stories and teachings as mirrors. They reveal our own trashy transactions with God, and our own tawdry trafficking with our brothers and sisters – though we often call them by more distant sounding names.
Lent is also the time when we can see these stories and teachings of Jesus, as windows. Looking at God’s otherwise desires through them, we see the truth.
At our 9:30 A.M., Sunday worship, in prayer, Word, song, sermon and Meal, we, who were dead and now alive, get to be God’s envoys, emissaries, ambassadors. What we get to do, we who were lost and now are found, is to serve as substitutes, fill-ins, who with our own talk declare God’s unwarranted relatedness, and, with our own walk, womb God’s inclusive rootedness.