I spoke in the pulpit this past Sunday. Now before you go thinking I’m making a move to a new field, it was as a spokesperson for the committee I’m on at Highland Park United Methodist Church. The committee is called the Violence Intervention and Prevention Committee, also known as VIP.
Anyway, VIP is doing a drive to collect diapers and snacks for our kids at Community Partners of Dallas for the next few weeks, so I got to do the pulpit announcement in the sanctuary. At all three services. So I enjoyed the service – several times.
Now speaking from the pulpit is another blog altogether – yes, you do notice who is asleep and who is picking their nose – but that is not what this post is about.
The scripture verse for the day was from Luke 15: 11-24 – the Prodigal Son story. I imagine that most of us know the story: Boy asks dad for his inheritance, gets it, spends it all on riotous living, returns home broke, and dad takes him back. Just like God does for all of our sins, the father in the story forgives his son. My favorite line is when the son is filled with shame and walking to home his father sees him:
But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.
The father tells everyone to prepare a big party and kill “the fatted calf” (aka Al Biernat’s prime NY cut meat – yum) and says:
…let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!”
Of course Mark Craig did a great sermon on grace from this – I’m sure you can listen to it by visiting www.hpumc.org – and I promise that I was not day dreaming during your sermon, Mark – but it did get me thinking about how much most parents love their kids. They can forgive anything, sacrifice their own happiness, toil all day to make a living, etc. – all for their kids.
But of course, there are parents who don’t do this for their kids. They do the opposite. Why do some kids get dads like the one the Prodigal Son has and some get the opposite?
I don’t know the answer, but I do pray that the kids who don’t have those dads find someone else to emulate or the cycle will continue. We live what we learned.