Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transparent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. ~ Sara Ban Breathnach

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Little - Great - One, Come Home - II

Listen, with the eyes of your heart, how Eugene Peterson translates this familiar story from Luke 15:

The Story of the Lost Son
 11-12Then he said, "There was once a man who had two sons. The younger said to his father, 'Father, I want right now what's coming to me.'
Last time I preached on this text, I called it the
Story of the Prodigal Father.
 12-16"So the father divided the property between them. It wasn't long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. There, undisciplined and dissipated, he wasted everything he had. After he had gone through all his money, there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to hurt. He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any.
 17-20"That brought him to his senses. He said, 'All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I'm going back to my father. I'll say to him, Father, I've sinned against God, I've sinned before you; I don't deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.' He got right up and went home to his father.
 20-21"When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: 'Father, I've sinned against God, I've sinned before you; I don't deserve to be called your son ever again.'
 22-24"But the father wasn't listening. He was calling to the servants, 'Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We're going to feast! We're going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!' And they began to have a wonderful time.
This has to be one of my favorite stories.
 25-27"All this time his older son was out in the field. When the day's work was done he came in. As he approached the house, he heard the music and dancing. Calling over one of the houseboys, he asked what was going on. He told him, 'Your brother came home. Your father has ordered a feast—barbecued beef!—because he has him home safe and sound.'
 28-30"The older brother stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in. His father came out and tried to talk to him, but he wouldn't listen. The son said, 'Look how many years I've stayed here serving you, never giving you one moment of grief, but have you ever thrown a party for me and my friends? Then this son of yours who has thrown away your money on whores shows up and you go all out with a feast!'
 31-32"His father said, 'Son, you don't understand. You're with me all the time, and everything that is mine is yours—but this is a wonderful time, and we had to celebrate. This brother of yours was dead, and he's alive! He was lost, and he's found!'"

Listen to the story again, this time as Philips, Craig, and Dean translate this wonderful story of love, of discovering self, of forgiveness...... of coming home. I like to substitute "daughter" in place of "son". I fully appreciate this song would be difficult to sing with the female. : )  When God Ran...

I have an hour and half drive in a few minutes in order to attend one of those all day long church meetings. This morning, I intended to simply share the story of the Prodigal with you, but then I was once again greeted by the ramblings of my Soul Sister.  She has a wonderful heart that is seeking for a closeness with God.  I hope she doesn't care if I share some of her thoughts:

am looking to use this study to be, slow down, not miss what I have at the present - saying this....these are words I missed from the "Acknowledgments that now struck me.

more than I could hold
constant reminder
fills the day with song
holy place was in God's design
insights and suggestions
love, support, and affirmation

If I could sit with these terms awhile...maybe it isn't if I could, maybe it is....if I would.
 I think that these are the ideas that I overlooked on my first reading, but they may be what I am yearning to have or give.  In my constantly hurried and frazzled state, I do not often get/take the chance to really sit with God, myself, my thoughts, etc.  These words seemed to shout at me today.  Really listen and find these things you skipped on your first reading.
As I moved to the introduction...
authentic yearning
present moment
simple gifts at fingertips
good earth

Then..."This book is about trusting the power for good." - page xi.  Hm mm....even in myself?  As I turned the page, I saw who the book was for and I  thought - I am looking for these people also - "people who LONG for spiritual depth and have the courage to STRUGGLE with eternal questions that rise in their hearts" - xii.  I am not looking for someone to answer all my questions, just people who will be honest in the process.    Hoping to "find the grace that waits for you (me) there." - xii.  I want to know and believe there are others who want to "embrace and celebrate this ache for God rather than ignoring or denying it" - xii.

there is no escape from that loving gaze - PRAISE BE

I stopped and questioned whether I recognize that "this ache for God that lives in EVERY heart." - xiii.  I think I am quick to dismiss those that do not appear to have the ache.  Yikes.

I then moved to the idea of feast/famine.  Neither is acceptable in daily eating habits or in the biblical digestion of the Word of God, nor in the time I spend with people or Christ.  I need to have a continuous daily feeding of crumbs.  I may not have large amounts of time, but I must make enough to sustain me.  The Lord will provide my daily bread.  We live in a country with such abundance, that even the amount of time and energy that I have gets misdirected.  "The ache in our (my) heart needs to be fed.  Crumbs are entirely sufficient." - xiii
Feasting on crumbs...
banquet of daily lifethere are no leftoversEverything in life can be nourishingbe thereBeing present with QUALITY is a decision we are invited to make EACH day.Our real presence can feed the ache for God in others.Spending the days in the fast lane of life impairs the quality of your seeing.Slow down The choice is mine.  "Am I too busy with my own agenda to let God's agenda bless me?" - xiv  I do not want to be too busy.  Really, what is my goal/goals?  I am not focused.  Am I even making choices?  Then...I reread 1.  Little-Great-One, Come Home (hence the Come Home themed tunes, I had to look up.  Really thought about doing some research on my name, but...that is for another time. 
I did jot a note in the book about it.)it's part of the journey to be in process
being there 
I love this woman.  She speaks to my heart.

All this thinking about the Church, I have got to hit the road!!! Interesting enough, my Soul Sister shared the same song with me that I had intended to share within this journal.  When I want simple and beautiful I go to Acappella.  Enjoy....Come Home

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

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