What a wonderful celebration this last Sunday's worship was! If you didn't have a chance to watch Ezra Dale-Ferguson's baby dedication or Rev. Dr. Ana Gobledale's sermon, you can do so HERE.
This Sunday, we will hear about God's prodigal grace, about a grace that overflows, about a love that rushes out to embrace us even after we have turned away, rejected and squandered that love. I bet you can guests which scripture we'll hear. Yes! The story of the Prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). Although, I can't help but wonder if this story shouldn't instead be called "The Prodigal Parent."
Why? Well, prodigal has two primary definitions:
1. spending money or resources freely and recklessly; wastefully extravagant.
Thus, the title "The Prodigal Son." But prodigal has a second meaning:
2. having or giving something on a lavish scale.
And isn't this a story about a parent's lavish or extravagant gift of grace and love? When I think about that kind of grace, prodigal grace, one might even say wasteful grace, I find myself overwhelmed. With gratitude. And with a desire to pass that kind of grace and love on. To share this incredible gift I've received.
I hope that all of us will feel that pull, that invitation this Sunday morning as we collect our gifts for One Great Hour of Sharing, the United Church of Christ's disaster relief fund. When we give to One Great Hour of Sharing, we send resources directly to people in need all around the world as well as in our own backyards. Through these gifts, we show up, we are present, we bring love to human-made and natural disasters near and far. Indeed, One Great Hour of Sharing has already sent relief moneys to provide aid to those in need in Ukraine. Our gifts on Sunday can support that kind of immediate assistance in Ukraine and around the world.
May we be prodigal in our gratitude, our generosity and our love!
With love and blessings,