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In reviewing the parable, we will look at (i) the historical context, (ii) re-tell the parable in a contemporay idiom, (iii) plumb the spiritual meaning, and (iv) place ourselves in the story.
The younger son is not merely wishing his father dead so that he can take ownership of his stuff, but to be cut off from what it means to be called a son in exchange for mere cash.
The major themes are (i) how each of us are each of the sons, (ii) how both sons are perfected, adn (iii) how we are ultimately called to be the Father.
If we wish to encounter the Risen Lord we must Go to Galilee, for there you will find Jesus. Matt 28:7. “Galilee” is the world beyond the protective walls of the church where our ministry takes place. Just as the Word came down to us, so too are we to go…
Curry speaks about how the church bringing unity in Christ out of a diversity of backgrounds, and that this call is greatest challenge of the Church today. Curry grounds our unity not in anything we do but in the very reality of the Incarnation.
What does it mean to have a church that draws, gathers, invites, and welcomes everyone with different gifts and different persuasions? 1 Cor. 12:12-31. How does the church welcome and understand those who do not look like you, act like you, vote like you, or agree with you on the issues…
The Church does not begin with Love or Justice or Good Works, rather our journey must begin with a deepened relationship with God and each other in Christ. For only beginning with a God who humbles himself in the Incarnation and Death does the world appear upside down.
Curry reminds us that, on this side of the resurrection, we will be tossed as if on a wild and restless sea. Think through how we are called to follow Jesus despite (and often because of) the restlessness and controversies of the present age.
A mountain, in the biblical narrative, is that place where the firmament between the heavens and the earth becomes thin and translucent. It is where we encounter the Father, learn from the Son, and are renewed and transformed by the Spirit. Where is your mountain?
Curry points out that discipleship is more than simply following Jesus with your feet but is intrinsically holistic. Discipleship is about becoming one with the one we follow. In becoming like Jesus, all other issues fall into place.
As part of being a crazy Christian in the world today, these two chapters lay out that our support lies in the reciprocal nature of the two-fold commandment of love. Ultimately, it is God and our neighbor who return that love and support us in our walk.
Curry speaks of the dream of a God who seeks “reconciliation, reunion, and communion” between all of us whom he created in his image.