The 4th Sunday of Lent – 31 Mar 2019 – Luke 15:11-32 ~ lost and found

Fourth Sunday of Lent

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Prayer

God of compassion, you await the sinner’s return and spread a feast to welcome home the lost.

Save us from the temptations that lead away from you, and draw us back by the constancy of your love, that we may take our place in your household and gladly share our inheritance with others.

Grant this through Christ, our liberator from sin, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, holy and mighty God for ever and ever.
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“Good Good Father” – Chris Tomlin

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Gospel Reading: Luke 15:11-32 (NLT)

Parable of the Lost Son

To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’

“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

“Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, and he asked one of the servants what was going on. ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’

“The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’

“His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”
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Prayer:

Heavenly Father: You love us and happily welcome us home from our distress in far countries.  Hear our prayers and show us your mercy –

+ That all who follow your Son, Jesus Christ, may return home to your embrace during this season  of Lent….
+ That people who have quarreled with each other may be reconciled to you and one another….
+ That families experiencing difficulties and conflict may learn to forgive one another as you have forgiven them….
+ That believing communities in every country may live in peace and be respected….
+ That believers who are suffering great persecution may be delivered from evil and their lives restored….

Heavenly Father: Show us your mercy and rescue us from the darkest places of our exile. Restore us to our families and faith communities, that heaven and earth might rejoice in our return to your household. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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“Lion and the Lamb” – Big Daddy Weave

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Blessing – 1 Corinthians 5:20-21

We are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Daily Reading: 17 June – The Teachings of Jesus: Lost and Found – Luke 15:1-32

Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

E100:12.e – The Teachings of Jesus

Lost and Found – Luke 15:1-32 (NLT)

Parable of the Lost Sheep

Luke 15  Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. 2 This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!

The Good Shepherd (Le bon pasteur) James Tissot, between 1886 and 1894 Brooklyn Museum, New York City
The Good Shepherd (Le bon pasteur)
James Tissot, between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum, New York City

3 So Jesus told them this story: 4 “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. 6 When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!

Parable of the Lost Coin

8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”

Parable of the Lost Son

11 To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. 12 The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

The Prodigal Son Albrecht Dürer, c.1496 Engraving, Royal Collection Trust London
The Prodigal Son
Albrecht Dürer, c.1496
Engraving, Royal Collection Trust
London

13 “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. 14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. 15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. 16 The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

17 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’

The Return of the Prodigal Son (Le retour de l'enfant prodigue) James Tissot, between 1886 and 1894 Brooklyn Museum, New York City
The Return of the Prodigal Son (Le retour de l’enfant prodigue)
James Tissot, between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum, New York City

22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, 26 and he asked one of the servants what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’

28 “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, 29 but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. 30 Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’

31 “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. 32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”

Prayer for Prodigals and their Parents

God, we pray today for parents who are enduring the onslaught of discouragement over the choices of their children.

+ Give them hope that your promises are never defeated, and that you can make a way through dark places when there seems to be no light.

+ Give them, today, sound wisdom to know specifically how love for their child needs to be expressed. Then give them the same tomorrow, and then the day after.

+ Give them endurance to hope beyond hope. Give them courage, and surprising joy.

We pray also for the children who are wandering from the ways of wisdom. We pray today that they will return.

+ Lead them home, coaxing their desires, compelling their dreams, and frustrating their rebellions.

+ And when they do make even the smallest step homeward we will welcome them and celebrate the victory.

God, you are a perfect father, THE Father. We know you share this desire with us. Bring our sons and daughters home! We hear your promises and we hold on to them as we hold on to you, and at the same time release our children into your care. In Jesus’ name, we pray.

“Hallelujah” – Hillsong

Closing Sentence

I will teach all your children, and they will enjoy great peace. – Isaiah 54:13

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Morning Prayer: 7 Mar – Mi 7:14-15, 18-20; Lk 15:1-3, 11-32 ~ unfailing love and compassion

Saturday of the Second Week of Lent

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentence and prayer:

Creator of the earth and skies, to whom the words of life belong, grant me Your Truth to make me wise; grant me Your power to make me strong.
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Almighty God, whose healing grace even here on earth brings us the gifts of heaven, guide me in this present life and lead me to that light in which You have Your dwelling. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
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A Reading from the Old Testament: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20 (NLT)

father and son

O Lord, protect your people with your shepherd’s staff; lead your flock, your special possession. Though they live alone in a thicket on the heights of Mount Carmel, let them graze in the fertile pastures of Bashan and Gilead as they did long ago.

“Yes,” says the Lord, “I will do mighty miracles for you, like those I did when I rescued you from slavery in Egypt.”
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Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love. Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! You will show us your faithfulness and unfailing love as you promised to our ancestors Abraham and Jacob long ago.
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A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 (NLT)

Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people — even eating with them!

So Jesus told them this story:
_____

“A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

The Return of the Prodigal Son Pompeo Batoni, 1773 Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, Austria
The Return of the Prodigal Son
Pompeo Batoni, 1773
Kunsthistorisches Museum
Vienna, Austria

“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’

“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

“Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, and he asked one of the servants what was going on. ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’

“The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’

“His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”
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Canticle

Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

Blessing:

May the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Luke 15:1-32 ~ welcome home

Gospel Reading: Luke 15:1-32 NLT

Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people — even eating with them!

The Rescue by Nathan Greene
The Rescue
by Nathan Greene

So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”

To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.

“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

“Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, and he asked one of the servants what was going on. ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’

“The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’

“His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”

Prayer: Heavenly Father – I pray today for family, friends and neighbors… and all who are lost. Only You can draw them to Jesus. Give them seeking hearts and a sincere desire to know You. Raise up people around them who will not only speak a word of faith to them but live as faithful witnesses to your love, mercy and grace. Holy Spirit – Convict all of us of our sin and guilt – especially lost souls – and lead us into all truth as revealed in Jesus Christ. Lord Jesus – You lived, died, and were raised from the dead… that all might have life – abundant and eternal. Impart the graces of faith and trust to the lost souls who come to our mind today… that they might repent, turn to You, and receive the gift of eternal live that You so freely offer. May the angels in heaven rejoice today over every lost soul that You have found. For Your Name’s sake, I ask it. Amen.

Spiritual Song:  “Hallelujah, I’m ready to go”Ricky Skaggs

Hallelujah, I’m ready / I can hear the voices singing soft and low / Hallelujah, I’m ready, hallelujah I’m ready to go.

In the darkness of night, not a star was in sight / on the highway that leads down below / But Jesus came in and saved us all from sin / Hallelujah, I’m ready to go.

Sinners don’t wait until it’s too late / He’s a wonderful saviour you know / Well, I fell on my knees when he answered my plea’s / Hallelujah, I’m ready to go.