Summary: A sermon for the 4th Sunday in Lent
4th Sunday in Lent
Luke 15: 1-3, 11b-32
A Fresh Start
"Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them." So he told them this parable:" Luke 15:1-3, RSV.
"And he said, "There was a man who had two sons; and the younger of them said to his father, ’Father, give me the share of property that falls to me.’ And he divided his living between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living. And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ’How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants."’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ’Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ’Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to make merry. "Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant. And he said to him, ’Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ’Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!’ And he said to him, ’Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’""Luke 15:11-32, RSV.
Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen
"One day a teenage boy walked into a little cafe and sat down. It was a small place with only a few stools at the counter. The boy said, "I’m hungry, but I don’t have any money If you feed me, I will be glad to wash dishes."
While the owner was getting the meal, he asked, "Why don’t’ you tell me about it son?" And the boy told him that he had argued with his father and left home.
Then the owner said, "You know, your story is similar to my son’s. We got mad a few months ago, and I said a lot of angry things I would give anything to take back. He left home. He ’s been gone for months, and I have no idea where he is. I own this cafe. Materially, it’s not much, but I would give it up in a second to have my son back home. "
He added, "You have a father back home, and I imagine he feels about like I do. You didn’t know that did you? You are away, and you don’t know that he cares for you as he does . What I am saying to you is, "Why don’t ’t you go back home?"
The boy needed a fresh start with his father back home. As you know our gospel lesson this morning is that famous parable of the Prodigal son. A story which is very well known, but I wonder how many of you know what that word prodigal means ?