Thought for the Day from Katharine Salmon from St Chad’s:
The Prodigal Son – an extract below from a reflection on this passage by Rev Nadia Bolz-Weber, Pastor of All Sinners and Saints Church, Denver, Colorado. She blogs @sarcasticlutheran, and the whole text is on patheos.com. Nadia is one of my favourite preachers and is well worth looking up on line, and I love this reflection on the Prodigal Son.
For some reason there is so much of Christianity that has felt more comfortable with a punishment and reward system than it is with living in the pure love and freedom that Jesus has secured for us.
So if you hear nothing else in the reading, hear this: that angry punishing God is not the God I know. And it is not the God revealed to us in the person of Jesus Christ. This Jesus who ate with sinners and tax collectors and upset the religious authorities and who loved and healed and forgave people indiscriminately – well this Jesus was God’s way of telling us who God is.
So when I reject my identity as beloved child of God and turn to my own plans of self-satisfaction, or I despair that I haven’t managed to be a good enough person, I again see our divine Parent running toward me uninterested in what I’ve done or not done, who covers me in divine love and I melt into something new like having again been moved from death to life and I reconcile aspects of myself and I reconcile to others around me.
If you would like to listen to a beautiful musical reflection on the passage, here is a link to “I’ll die no more for bread” by Peter and Mary Alice Amidon (link below)