Sermon 31 March

I have been looking at the readings with the purpose of preparing us for the Easter Service. That we come to the service, not as part of our tradition, but to rejoice and give thanks for what the day means to us, as individuals and as a community. Through the readings we see Jesus suffering hardship and temptation to be able to live the example of Godly living, in the 40 days of the wilderness.

Then we looked at Jesus in the parable of the useless olive tree, where  Jesus is the gardener, who stands up for us so we may have one more year to live the right life, not out of duty, but out of love.

Last week, we looked at how Jesus shows the determination to go to his death and how he loves and mourns for those who will kill him.

This week we look at the parable of the prodigal son. I explain this every time we come to this reading so forgive my repetition. Prodigal means wasteful, therefore this is the parable of the wasteful son. It has also been called the parable of the two brothers because the older brother is also at fault in this parable. Timothy Keller sees it as the prodigal God and that in the parable the father is the wasteful one. The father is wasteful with his money and his honour, but mostly with his love.

The two brothers represent the different parts of humanity. Those who turn from God, and those who are faithful to God. The issue for those who are faithful is that they can be faithful in the thoughts of their self-righteousness.

Jesus gives us a side of God we do not often think about. A god who loves us more than anything. God wants us to be with God so much God created a way to show God’s love and to open a way of understanding and direction.

Jesus is God, so Jesus was the decider of his own life, and therefore he loves us so much that he willingly took the form of a human so that he could show us how to live. He died so that he might give us an expression of love that would give us a reason to give our lives to God, and he rose, so that we would believe in the eternal life, and want it.

We come at Easter to give thanks for that love, and to share that love with each other.