Sunday recap for October 10, 2010

We had a great morning at SonRise, West OC with a handful of visitors returning again and even a new person. I am so grateful for our worship leader Adam who has served so faithfully every Sunday. He has been working night shift for several weeks now and this morning about 15 minutes before the service, his voice went out. Like a flat tire.  I felt terrible for him because he loves to play and sing. Fortunately we were able to improvise and use a DVD to lead worship and everyone seemed to do just fine singing along. It was a new experience for me, but one of our small groups does this every week, so most of the people thought it was just fine.  It’s nice when you count on technology in a pinch and it actually delivers.

Typically, we preach sermons from a series where we develop a thought over a period of weeks, but we are in between series right now so this was a singular sermon.  I preached on the story of the Prodigal Son from Luke 15. It is a fascinating story and one that I believe everyone should know.  It is about a generous father who divides his inheritance between his sons. The younger son leaves for a distant land and squanders his wealth. When he hits rock bottom, he returns hoping to work as a hired hand for his father. But the father sees him coming down the road from far  away and he takes off running and hugs him and kisses him. The father throws a huge party for him and is so happy to have his son. He doesn’t even care where he has been or what he has done. He knows what happens in that distant land, but he is happy to have his son back. The older brother isn’t exactly thrilled though. He is mad because he has obeyed and worked for his father all this time and has never been rewarded. The older brother won’t even go into the party to celebrate. The father goes out to him and tells him that he has always been with him, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t celebrate his other son returning.

This story has so much application for our lives.  Here are some of the points talked about today:

  • Many of us reject God through our irreligion. We think the best that this life has to offer is “out there”, away from our heavenly Father.
  • Because of this, most of us believe we are not worthy of the Father’s love when we desire to return to him. Yet, our Father runs out to us, even when we are far off.
  • Many of us have rejected God through our religion. We think that by behaving and living an upstanding life we earn God’s approval when all along we are only looking to ourselves for our righteousness.
  • Most of us think we should be rewarded for our obedience. We think that because we haven’t been to the “distant land” we should win some kind of medal.  When all along it was God’s grace that held us back from bringing even more destruction to our lives.
  • We forget that knowing the Father is our reward. What could God give us that is better than himself? Yet, he has given us Jesus so that we might know him and have communion with him.
  • For most of us, at different points in our lives we are prodigal sons and daughters and self-righteous older sisters and brothers.
  • The best news for all of us is that the Father pursues us even when we reject him!

The sermon should be available here in the next few days.


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