Updated: Mar 22
Today in the start of our 'new-normal', our gathered life happens as a scattered life, and by electronic means. We're learning to be, share and serve in increased and life-giving ways from a distance: two-metres or more!
Here's the link to our earlier facebook live-stream, or soundcloud talk from Johnny, based on Luke 15:11-31, with a song performed by Adam: "Living Hope" Here's the Brian Johnson version, and the lyrics, children's resources from Emma-Jane in ad, and a Lenten Cross reflection with prayers this Mothering Sunday led by Julie.
We're thinking about homecoming today, how lostness gives way to homecoming.
Proximity to God is what changes everything!
God is our father and endlessly is scanning the horizon to traverse the great divide.
By faith we are made sons and daughters...
The far away country was not measured by distance
The far away country has many roads
There's rebellion, repentance and rejoicing...
Where are you and I stuck?
The far away country is a land of poverty - it always costs!
Returning home always requires recognises the Fathers sufficiency
Will we complain or will we celebrate?
Will we hold grievances or will we pursue grace?
God is saying I love you, please come home?!
Quizzing questions for personal or Zoom group use!
1. Luke 15 v 11 – 31:- read these well-known versions in two different versions of the Bible; what immediately strikes you from this passage?
2. I wonder who we identify most with in this passage and why? The prodigal/rebellious son; the waiting, welcoming father or the angry, jealous, hardhearted, older son?
3. Charles Dickens called this passage ‘the greatest story ever told’. It is the gospel in a nutshell – God welcomes, God restores and God forgives! When have we known those aspects of Gods character?
4. In what ways are you and I ‘prodigals’? Why is it that we have a need to leave home when we are children of God?
5. What might ‘the far country’ be in our minds, hearts & lives?
6. It had been said that this is the story of the running father; there is always the invitation to return home. What are other scriptures that you can call to mind that carry an invitation? (see Matt 11 v 27-30; Is 55 v 1-3, Mark 10 v 13-16, James 4 v 8, John 7 v 37-39). What do these scriptures say to us about Gods heart?
7. Why do we think the parable is left open-ended? Jesus doesn’t tell us how the story ends, whether the older brother responds to his father’s entreaties or not. What is God saying to us in this?
8. What would have happened had the younger brother met his older brother first that day?
9. Pray for those who are prodigals that they may come home, come back to the welcome of God; pray for those ‘not-yets’ who have never experienced that welcome, that they might do so in these days.
10. Listen, worship & reflect on ‘Amazing grace, my chains are gone’ by Chris Tomlin.
Wayne Grudem says ‘Repentance is a heartfelt sorrow for sin, and a sincere commitment to forsake it and walk in obedience to Christ’.
‘I never forgive!’ General Oglethorpe said to John Wesley, to which Wesley replied, ‘The sir, I hope you never sin’.
‘It’s so much easier for a distant sinner to receive joy and forgiveness than the nearby saints who struggle’
‘The Father is always looking for me with outstretched arms to receive me back and whisper again in my ear: ‘You are my Beloved, on you my favour rests’.
‘To be prodigal sons and daughters is no disgrace. To continue to be – even when the Holy Spirit pleads with is – is the major problem of every precious human being’