This coming Sunday we launch Freeway, a 7 week series through which we will look deeply at ourselves and our spiritual journey to freedom. We start this week with stories of Prodigal Sons.
That’s right, I said sons with a plural “s.” You see, there’s not just one prodigal son story in scripture. In fact, I’d make a case that there are dozens and dozens of stories about people who wander off because they want something more in life and then later try to find a way to come home. There’s Jacob, David, Israel (over and over again), Jonah, Paul, and character after character in the ministry and parables of Jesus.
Searching for something more and longing to come home to a God that loves us is a sort of instinct that exists in all of us. I believe this with all my heart and the Bible seems to agree.
The truth is, it is so easy to get off track along this journey we call life. Easy to get bound by difficult situations. Easy to feel frustrated, depressed, lonely, lost, hopeless. Easy to wander into something dark and draining. East to get caught up in the superficial things of life. Easy to drown in busyness and stress and fatigue. Easy to find yourself wondering if there isn’t something more…
And I think that something more has to do with a longing for something, someone beyond the self. It has to do with fulfillment, contentment, love, peace and freedom. (You may have other words to add to these.) Ultimately, all of these words are really things that we discover through our identity and relationship with God, our Creator, the divine goodness of all that is.
Perhaps, you feel this longing within you right now. Or perhaps you are in a place where you are feeling comfortable, satisfied and at peace. Even so, I suspect there is a deeper longing within you. And if you just take time to consider that deeper part of your self, you might just discover it. It resides close to your questions about life and existence, near your deepest fears and doubts, and not far from your hopes and dreams.
I encourage you to take some time this week to read a few of these prodigal stories (two are linked below in the readings for this week, but you can look up others as well). And as you read, reflect on your life’s journey…where you’ve been, where you’re heading, the questions you have about your self and God, the wonderings and doubts you carry with you, the struggles you have experienced and are experiencing, the desires and hopes to which you cling. And consider what it might mean to you if you recognized right now that God’s arms are stretched out to you calling you to come home to something more.
If You Missed Sunday’s Sermon…
Read or Listen to Enough – Exodus 3:1-15
God’s Words for This Week
Genesis 33:1-10 – Seeing your face is like seeing God’s face, since you’ve accepted me so warmly. (CEB v.10b)
Psalm 5 – But you’ll welcome us with open arms when we run for cover to you. Let the party last all night! Stand guard over our celebration. You are famous, God, for welcoming God-seekers, for decking us out in delight. (The Message, v.11-12)
Romans 15:7-13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (NRSV, v. 13)
Luke 15:11-32 – When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. (The Message, v.20)
This Week at Hood
Wednesday, September 6, 4:30 pm – Prayer & Inspiration
Wednesday, September 6, 6:00 pm – Choir Practice
Thursday, September 7, 12 noon – 1:30 pm – Pastor Jason at The Cellar for Drop-In Coffee & Conversation (108 N Wilson St)
Saturday, September 9, 7:30 pm – Movie Night featuring Cars (the movie)
Sunday, September 10, 11:00 am – Worship – Freeway Series Begins!
Sunday, October 22 – Homecoming
January 17, 2018
January 16, 2018
January 10, 2018