Tonight we begin our Lenten discussion of Fr. Henri Nouwen’s book The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming. Our discussion will cover the Prologue and Chapters 1 and 2 of Nouwen as well as Chapter 2 of Kenneth Bailey’s book The Cross and the Prodigal: Luke 15 Through the Eyes of Middle Eastern Peasants. This week we are simply concerned with the younger son’s request to his father and his actions immediately following that request as found in Luke 15:11-13. In our discussions this week (and for each of the following weeks) we’ll look at:
· Historical Context: What is the historical context of the younger son’s request and actions? What did Jesus’ audience hear and understand when he began the parable?
· Contemporary Meaning: How would you contemporize the younger son’s requests and actions to modern ears? The younger son no longer offends us because we know the story too well and because we don’t live in first-century Jewish Palestine. How can we re-tell the younger son’s story to bring out the offensiveness and outrageousness of his actions?
· Spiritual Meaning: What is the underlying spiritual meaning of the younger son’s request and actions? What is the point that Jesus is making?
· Personalize. How are you the younger son? When Jesus talks about the younger son, how is he talking about you?
Dinner is at 6. The menu is roasted chicken. Discussion about 6:45. Hope to see you here. (You don’t have to read everything to join us.) And, please invite a friend.
· Messiah/St. Phillips is having Lenten Worship at 12:15 and 7:00 p.m. The service includes a short five-minute meditation on one of the parables. There is a soup & salad dinner in the Fellowship Hall at 6:00 p.m.
· Trinity is having a Wednesday night guest-lecturer series entitled “Created In His Image.” This series will explore what it means to be made in the image of God, and how that should impact every aspect of our lives. The catered dinner is at 5:30. The lecture begins at 6:00.
Many a time did he deliver them,Psalm 106:43-47
but they rebelled through their own devices, *
and were brought down in their iniquity.
Nevertheless, he saw their distress, *
when he heard their lamentation.
He remembered his covenant with them *
and relented in accordance with his great mercy.
He caused them to be pitied *
by those who held them captive.
Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the nations, *
that we may give thanks to your holy Name and glory in your praise.