Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Roots Community

Man, it's Thursday and all week I've wanted to tell you about Roots on Sunday! Last weekend was our 3rd out of 4 Sundays meeting in Jesse's home.  It was really good.  

Jesse preached on The Prodigal God and brought some really great insight. You can read the full story in the Scriptures here.  It is the passage of scripture that is commonly referred to as the Prodigal Son.

Jesse began to define prodigal in this way: to lavish, extravagant and profuse expenditure. So, to look at that definition, yes the younger brother did that. But really, the father did that more! For the father to give the younger son his inheritance, it was a extravagant expense for himself as he would have to sell off part of his livelihood. And then to take him back after his son's foolishness, with NO lecture or condemnation or consequence was definitely some lavish love as well. 

So, onto the new to me insight. 

Jesse began to explain that really both the brothers had similar motives.  The younger brother was just a little bit more honest about it.  He just wanted his inheritance now.  But really, the older brother was pretty concerned about his portion too.  

When we read the story, we see that the older brother is mad, but why?  Well, now that his younger brother was back, he is now available to receive yet another inheritance when the father dies.  This means that the older brother's share would not be what he originally expected it to be.  

Both the brothers saw their father as a means to an end.   Whoa! 

For years I have identified with the older brother far more then the younger.(Thank you Jesus for Your miraculous protective grace!) And I have recently come to understand that the older brother was choosing to live life out of obligation rather than celebration. He tells his dad "I've keep all your rules and you've never let me have a party?!" and his dad's response is "Son, you can have a party anytime!  All I have is yours!" 

But the part that really grabbed me was to admit that the older brother was really only interested in what his dad was gonna give him.  A means to an end.

Parallel my relationship with God.  Especially after confessing my personal insight to the older brother's mind, am I really just looking for what God can give me?  Am I only keeping the rules for some sense of self imposed entitlement? Is that all God really is to me? 

Tough, humbling questions.  

But a good gut check.  Because the beauty of the story is, the father offers immediate restoration to the older brother as well.  He is pleading with us older brothers, "Please, come in! Celebrate! This is something worth getting excited about!" 

He rushes to us that are a little more honest about ourselves and He rushes to those of us that are better at hiding ourselves.

Thank you Jesus for your lavishing, extravagant and profusely expending love for us.  You always want us to celebrate with you. Please forgive me for wanting what you can give me over wanting You. Help me to know your heart better.

* In a side note, next week we move from meeting in Jesse's home to the KOA campground on the corner of I-4 and HWY 27.  I am really excited about this.  Please pray for the staff at Roots and all the adjustments that will need to happen.  Please pray also for the staff at the KOA as we begin establishing relationships there.  We went to love, serve and be Jesus to them.

1 comment:

Travis Greene said...

I've seen this referred to as the Parable of the Loving Father, drawing attention to the fact that that's who the story is really about. Our individualistic culture leads us to see the story as mostly about grace for the repentant sinner (which, of course, it is!) and we can miss the other dynamics, like the need for reconciliation between brothers as well as father & son, the older brother's pride, & the father's wisdom and love.

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