Monday Morning Pastor – 6/18/17

June 19, 2017
Note: Each week we will have a guest writer who will share a few of their personal thoughts on Sunday’s sermon. Unlike Monday Morning Quarterbacking, from which this series gets its name, we aren’t looking to critique so much as share how we have been personally impacted. This week’s post comes from Dave Hallahan.

Title: The Lost Son
Passage: Luke 15:11-32

I love the story of the Lost [or Prodigal] Son. It’s like a prism. The light shines through it and there appear to be infinite angles to look at it. There’s three main angles: the younger brother, elder brother, and the father. But within each of those characters there’s a myriad of different things going on.

Mark ended his message saying the challenge to fathers’ was, “Do you love like God does?” And it’s quite the challenge – both for fathers and for everyone else – to love so selflessly, so recklessly. Over the years as I’ve rotated the prism of this story, I’ve been fascinated by the father’s love – namely his sense of justice. I think both the father and the elder brother were looking for justice.

The younger brother broke the relationship that he had with his family and continued to insult his father, his family, and his people through his actions. It’s possible that the younger brother was even guilty of capital crimes and deserving of death. When he returns and a party is thrown in his honor, his older brother is appalled at the lack of justice. Deserving punishment – if not death – he is instead rewarded with a party. In the eyes of the elder brother, justice is not being served.

But in the eyes of the father, justice is not punitive. Instead justice is restorative. Life is not just when one is punished for their wrongdoing, instead life is just when things are made whole again. The father’s love for his son caused him to seek justice in the only way that made sense. Justice will be when his family is made whole again. And so, when that happens there is cause for celebration.

 

Over the years this story, as well as the writings of Shane Claiborne and other Christian activists, has challenged my notion of justice. I often find cause for celebration when others are punished for their wrongdoing. I’m often frustrated by what I deem a lack of justice when punishment is lacking based on my requirements. But I pray that my eyes would be opened to the justice that the father celebrates. May my heart also long, not for payment of wrongdoings, but for broken pieces to be made whole again.

 

If you would like to contribute to the Monday Morning Pastor – contact Dave Hallahan.
Listen to the whole sermon here