Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A plethora of prodigals

I shall arise, and go unto my father....

most of us are familiar with the story of the prodigal son
of that wild and crazy
hippie in San Francisco  in the 60's kind of wild child
who one day woke up and said
"oh shit!"

but the story of the prodigal son is full of prodigals

think about the older brother
who in his own way
has destroyed his connection with the father

oh he has been good
so good
but his sphincter is tight enough to crush a penny
and he is angry and resentful
and thinks the father "owes" him

wild child stands at a distance
afraid he doesn't deserve a second change
full of guilt and shame

angry child
stands close, manipulating
thinking he can somehow obligate the father

both are separated from the father
one slops pigs
the other doesn't know how to smile

the father
the biggest prodigal of all
loves both these sons
deeply, radically, scandalously

he reaches out in love
arms wide open
who will respond?

Which among us are younger children?   
Which of us are letting what we have done, 
the mistakes we have made, 
keep us from connecting, with family, friends, loved ones, and yes God?   

How many of us say, “I have blown it so badly I can’t go to my parents, my friends and ask for help?  I can’t go and ask for another chance. I can’t turn to God and find love and acceptance.”  I have had an affair.  I have stolen.  I have lied.  I have hurt those I loved.  I am too much of a mess?”

How many of us are older children.  
 How many of us resent those who have done things we consider horrible, and yet seem to be enjoying the love of others, and even the love of God?   
How many of us look at how hard we have tried to be God’s person, and yet have experienced hardship, and loss, and because of that are angry at God.   
How many of us think God “owes” us?

What is keeping us from coming to God with joy?   
Guilt?  Shame?  Resentment.  Anger?
It is time to let go of whatever it is

and join the party

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