Pause

“I don't think anyone, until their soul leaves their body, is past the point of no return.”

Tom Hiddleston, actor

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Listen

All the tax collectors and sinners were gathering around Jesus to listen to him. The Pharisees and legal experts were grumbling, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Jesus told them this parable:

“A certain man had two sons. The younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the inheritance.’ Then the father divided his estate between them. Soon afterward, the younger son gathered everything together and took a trip to a land far away. There, he wasted his wealth through extravagant living.

“When he had used up his resources, a severe food shortage arose in that country and he began to be in need. He hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. He longed to eat his fill from what the pigs ate, but no one gave him anything. When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have more than enough food, but I’m starving to death! I will get up and go to my father, and say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son. Take me on as one of your hired hands."’ So he got up and went to his father.”

Luke 15:1-3, 11-20a

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Think

How many times have you been eager to have something right away? Especially something that you know you will be getting eventually anyway?

We are a culture of instant gratification. Advertising and marketing agencies depend upon our desire for things that are the newest, fastest, shiniest, and most technologically advanced. In these opening verses of the Parable of the Prodigal Son, we see a young man who is also impatient for what will eventually be his. He manages to convince his father that NOW is the right time for him to receive his due.

And predictably, he goes off on his own and unwisely blows his entire inheritance and finds himself in a lower place than where he started. It then occurs to him that he would be better fed if he were working as a servant in his father’s home. In order to be received back at home, he will need to make an explanation by way of an apology.

Acknowledging our humility is often the first step in making a return.

Bronwyn Clark Skov

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Pray

Holy One, please help me to let go of my impatience and my arrogance; give me eyes to see when my desires are for things in the world rather than things of your kingdom, and bless me with humility and guidance so I may return to you. Amen.

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Go

Return to me, says the Lord of heavenly forces, and I will return to you . . .

Zechariah 1:3

Bronwyn Skov

Bronwyn Clark Skov is the Missioner for Youth Ministry for the Episcopal Church. She lives in rural Minnesota with her husband where she also volunteers with the National Ski Patrol and enjoys camping and motorcycling with family and friends.

Walking Toward Morning: Here I Am to Worship

Ken Medema - kenmedema.com

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