People who have given up on the chruch and faith, or who have never been people of faith in the church will often say that Christianity is at best a moral code – a system that helps people be nice to each other.
many people in the church who have been a part of a faith community for most of their lives will often say that if we all be very good, then the world will be a better place.
Along comes Jesus of Nazareth and tells a parable about one young man being very, very bad and one brother being very, very good and BOTH of the being lost to God’s love!
If we don’t dwell on the whole message of jesus about who is good and who is bad and what being good and bad means, all we will ever believe and preach is that Christianity is about being morally good. All people will here, even when they are “giving their heart to Jesus” is that they need to be better at being good.
Jesus is not on about being religious (elder brothers) or irreligious (younger brother) but is offering to make all of us new people at home with him in the love of God the Father of all of us.
Jesus does not tell this parable as a lovely heart-warming story to make us all well up with sentimental emotions about how great the Father’s love is for the son lost in sin but to put the blow torch on the religious morally righteous people who are angry with him for being to gracious and welcoming to sinners and irreligious people. The irreligious flocked to him and he welcomed them and they knew they were bad and needed to be new. The religious people shunn him and were confused by him and he exposed their judgementalism but did not condemn them – he caleld both the religious brother and the irreligious brther home. he is calling you home too.
Prodigal God starts on Sunday at St Petri. 9.30am – The journey to the grace of Go and call to call everyone home begins and goes for 6 weeks.