Life in God’s Creation

Week 9 (5-11 Nov.) – Life in Wilderness: Prodigal Son Story

Sunday – Family/Society

Scripture Reading: Luke 15:11-32

As we look to the story Jesus tells of the prodigal son it is told as an analogy to life in God’s creation.  We are all created as children of God to be children of God in the world that God created.  But, to freely abide in God’s family, we have the freedom to walk away from God, God’s family and go our own way.  This is life in the wilderness.  This story teaches us the connection between life in the wilderness and life in God’s creation.  This week we explore the particulars of life in the world that God created.

Pastor’s Pondering:  Who are the characters in this story and in our lives?

Monday – God as the Father  

Scripture Reading: Luke 15:11-32

As with the two sons, we all are created as God’s children.  God is our Father whether we recognize it or not.  The basis of our practical relationship with God is not based on God’s love for us but based on our love for God.  As Father, God loves us all.  For those like the eldest son, God lives out the love in their life together.  God eats with them, works with them, teaches them, cares for them and provides for them.  For those like the younger son, who live their lives in the wilderness, God laments for them, looks for them, waits for them and in their return home, celebrates with them and restores them to their place in the family.  This is God as our Father in this story.

Pastor’s Pondering:  What does this look like in life?

Tuesday – World/Wilderness Christians as Prodigal Son

Scripture Reading: Luke 15:11-32

The prodigal son is about all of us until we come to God in Jesus Christ and, yes, even as Christians, those who may wander in the wilderness after coming to God in Christ.  Whenever we are separated from God and God’s ways, we find ourselves being tempted to squander our inheritance and sinning.  In doing so, we find ourselves initially enjoying the thrill of that life in the world but eventually find ourselves in a pit, digging ourselves in a hole, in a miry bog and yes, in a pig pen wanting to eat pig slop!  It is at this point that looking at the life we had/can have as God’s servants/workers would be better than our current situation that we can return to God, find him waiting for us, receiving us in celebration and as children once again.

Pastor’s Pondering:  What does this look like in life?

Wednesday – Faithful Christians as Older Son

Scripture Reading: Luke 15:11-32

As Christians actively living in God’s kingdom with God as our Father we do run the danger of becoming like the Eldest son.  Even though we have our life in God’s creation and an inheritance ahead of us knowing the joy of life with God as Father, we can look at the prodigal children with envy, jealousy, and/or judgement.  This takes away from the joy we can have focused on our father’s love and begin to replace that with spite against our father for the grace and love he has over His lost children.

Pastor’s Pondering:  What does this look like in life?

Thursday – Celebrating Return

Scripture Reading: Luke 15:11-32

When a person becomes a Christian or a Christian who has wandered away from Christ and the Church returns there is much celebrating in heaven.  God celebrates.  The angels celebrate.  Do we celebrate?  The focus of the eldest son in the prodigal son’s leaving has been on how it left him with more work, how he is the more responsible son and how he is the better son.  When the prodigal returns, this all comes out in jealousy and feelings against the father for his unjust and unwarranted actions in killing the fatted calf to celebrate the return.  Yet, the Father lovingly reprimands the eldest son for these feelings and reminds him to love as He loves.

Pastor’s Pondering:  What does this look like in life?

Friday – Continue as Family

Scripture Reading: Luke 15:11-32

As we see God the Father’s purpose is for us all to continue as family in our life together in creation.  This requires love.  This requires forgiveness.  This requires God the Father.  This requires God’s word.  This requires Christ.  This requires something supernatural.  This requires the Holy Spirit.  This requires us to live life in God’s love to be family together forever.

Pastor’s Pondering:  What does this look like in life?

Saturday – Looking for the Souls in Wilderness

Scripture Reading: Luke 15:11-32

Finally, the overall teaching of this story and of the story of the lost coin and lost sheep is that we are to be looking for the prodigal sons, coins, sheep, souls that have left creation for the wilderness.  We are not only to be looking for them but sharing with them God’s love come to us in Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit, in God’s Word, and in God’s people.  We are to be looking, loving, and longing for those in the wilderness to return home to be with God, our Father.   Amen (So let it be).

Pastor’s Pondering:  What does this look like in life?