Tonight we continue our Lenten discussion of Fr. Henry Nouwen’s The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming. Tonight we will look at Chapter 3 “The Younger Son’s Return” and Chapter 3 of Kenneth Bailey’s The Cross & the Prodigal. Our focus this week will be the condition the younger son finds himself in and his decision to return home as found in Luke 15:11-13. In our discussions for tonight, please think about:
Historical Context: How would Jesus’ original audience understand how desperate the younger son had become? And how would they have understood the conditions under which he could return home? Is Jesus trying to connect the younger son’s apology with that of Pharaoh?
Contemporary Meaning: The younger son finds himself living among the Gentiles and feeding their pigs. How would you rewrite the parable for a modern audience to make the same point? Would the younger son have the same difficulty of return in contemporary society as he would have in Jesus’ society?
Spiritual Meaning: Is repentance and reconciliation within the contemplation of the younger son? Does he anticipate any change in his relationship with the father? At this point in the story, has the younger son learned anything from his experience? Do you agree with Fr. Nouwen that Jesus himself can be seen as the younger son?
Personalize: How are you the younger son? What is your motivation in calling upon God?
Dinner is at 6. The menu is spiral ham and sweet potatoes. Discussion about 6:45. Hope to see you here.
So Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and . . . . the locusts came up over all the land of Egypt, and settled on the whole country of Egypt . . . .Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron in haste, and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you. Now therefore, forgive my sin, I pray you, only this once, and entreat the Lord your God only to remove this death from me.” So he went out from Pharaoh, and entreated the Lord.And theLordturned a very strong west wind, which lifted the locusts and drove them into the Red Sea; not a single locust was left in all the country of Egypt.But theLord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go.Exodus 10:13-20