For Those in the Distant Country (Luke 15:11-32)

Rembrandt's Return of the Prodigal Son
Detail of Rembrandt’s Return of the Prodigal Son (source)

When I was in the first grade I gathered my stuff and took off for the distant country. I ran away from home. Fortunately, it was a quick trip and I was back in time for supper. In the years since then my trips to the distant country haven’t been nearly as short or uneventful. There have been casualties and losses along the way. People were hurt. Sometimes it was me, sometimes it was others. The distant country always disappointed. It didn’t give me the life I was looking for. It didn’t make me the person I wanted to be. It left me feeling lonely, empty, and lost.

There are a thousand different routes to the distant country: sorrow and loss, sin and guilt, failure and regret, the sheer difficulty of life, to name just a few. More often than not our journey to the distant country is an attempt to run away from home, ourselves, and our lives. The distant country convinces us that the life we want and the person we want to become cannot be found within ourselves. It denies that the kingdom of God is within and creates the illusion that if we can just get to a new place, a new time, a new circumstance everything will be better. Continue reading “For Those in the Distant Country (Luke 15:11-32)”

The Bath – A Reflection on the Prodigal Son, Luke 15:11-32

Bob, a gentleman who was probably in his 70s, had been quiet and attentive throughout the evening. I was teaching about the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). When I finished speaking Bob was the first one out of his chair. I could tell, as he made his way to the front of the classroom, that he was upset. “What about the bath,” he … Continue reading The Bath – A Reflection on the Prodigal Son, Luke 15:11-32

Trusting Love, A Prodigal Son Sermon: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

The collect and readings for this past Sunday, Lent 4C, may be found here. The appointed gospel was Luke 15:1-3, 11-32. Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 2And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” 3So he told them this parable: 11Jesus said, “There was a man … Continue reading Trusting Love, A Prodigal Son Sermon: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32