I think most know by now, but in June I’ll be back under an appointment. I’ll be serving part time at Hopewell UMC. This I am quite excited about. So, for the last couple weeks I’ve been dusting off my sermonizing brainstorm abilities. With this I have a little experiment I would like to try.
I love to give messages. I enjoy the studying, learning about a topic or a passage, finding out about the background, finding new nuances, treasures that bring new life to a piece of scripture as well as my understanding of the world. I like to sit and try to figure out the best way to present what I’ve found so that maybe it will resonate with others. I would almost be happy writing messages without having to deliver them. However, I do have an issue with sermons; it’s a one way conversation.
I bring all this stuff to the table, but in the typical worship environment there’s no room for questions, exploration, other’s ideas and thoughts. I’m not a big fan of the simple talking head.
So, what I would like to do is try to experiment with technology to make the messages a bit more interactive. Therefore, I am going to attempt to let you in on what I’ll be talking about. I would love to hear your thoughts, what passages and topics mean to you. I’m quite confident that the feedback will shape the messages, help them to take forms and shapes that will resonate with people in ways I would have never thought.
So, I will be starting at Hopewell on Father’s Day, and in holding with the tradition of my dad, I’m going to begin with the parable of the Prodigal Son. At this point it is shaping up to be a three part series.
So, this story can be found in Luke 15:11-32.
I welcome most any and all thoughts, but for those who don’t have something immediate to say but would love to participate here are some questions to stimulate your thinking.
What does this parable mean to you? What is it about?
Who in the story do you resonate with?
Have you resonated with different characters at different times?
Why do you think the younger son asked for the inheritance?
Why do you think the older son stayed behind?
Why did the father give the younger son the inheritance?
What about the way it ends? What do you think happens?
Why do you think Jesus told this parable? Who was he speaking to and what point was he trying to make?
Why do you think Luke included this story? How do you think it’s connected to the scriptures surrounding it?
Are there any words that stick out to you?
Do you think the younger son actually repented before returning home, or was this simply a “he came to his senses” calculated move?
If you were the father, would you be looking for the younger son, or would you go about your business and wait for him to tuck his tail between his legs and come crawling back? Would you respond like the father, or would you make him suffer a bit?
Do you think this parable is connected to any other stories in the bible?
I look forward to hearing your responses.