Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Prodigal Son pt.4 "fullness of grace"

As the story of the prodigal son unfolds the son "came to his senses". He had left his fathers home squandered his inheritance, shamed himself and his family and now found himself dependent on a citizen of that country for basic survival. He wants to go home, he wants to embrace his father again, he longs for the community of his family, at this point he is in a world where "no one is giving him anything". And so he resolves to go home not expecting at all to be received well by his father just hoping to be given the status of a "hired man", literally a "day laborer".
 Yet to his surprise his father sees him "while he was still a long way off", and the father runs to him to embrace him. In Jesus' first century culture grown men did not run,it was considered disgraceful, yet Jesus paints a picture in which this man runs to embrace a son who has shamed the family image. Complete grace shown by this father, again in this story we parallel the theme of the Bible. God has acted in history to demonstrate his love for us and make his grace apparent.
  The story of Israel comes to its culmination when Jesus comes into this world, Jesus is the fulfillment of the Abrahamic promise of Genesis 12:3 to be a blessing for all nations of the earth. Jesus comes to "shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace". Jesus the messiah, is the reason for the fullness of the grace God extends to us. He upon that roman cross endured our exile of sin when he said those words "my God, my God why have you forsaken me?"(Matthew 27:46). All the evil of this world focused its energy upon the "sinless one" it was indeed the hour when "darkness reigns" (Luke 22:53). Jesus "gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good" (Titus 2:14). Like the prodigal son we have received this fullness of grace not to take and keep to ourselves but to live among this world in a way that shares it with our community in our words our actions our entire lives.

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