March 2, 2022 - The Prodigal
17 "When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!
18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.' (Lk. 15:17-19 NIV)
I didn't grow up in a highly liturgical church. I can't really recall getting some dirt on my forehead for any particular religious purpose. It was mainly a daily event for a country kid. So, being exposed to Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday services has been a blessing. From Methodist to Non-denominational to now Presbyterian and of course Eastern Orthodox through my higher educational studies...I have come to appreciate the coming together of community to go on an adventure together, yet, separate.
I am always drawn to Luke 15 at this time of year: the lost coin, the lost sheep, the lost son. Jesus goes after the lost...lost unsaved and lost saved. I often consider myself the latter.
I love the Lord Jesus dearly but there are times that I just feel lost. If I were honest...most of the time. I keep myself busy with ministry to hide it...to suppress it...to not die from it. It might be because of my own waywardness or because of demonic oppression - as tends to happen at this time of year - either way, it is an unpleasant place to be.
Deb and I will be presenting a song for Ash Wednesday service called "Song of the Prodigal." It reflects my heart well. (Words and music by Jo Boyce)
"I love you, Lord,
and I still don't understand why I betray you Lord
Is it part of someone's plan for me to be this child
who runs away
even when I know its best to stay?
I need you, Lord,
So I'm reaching out my hand for you to save me Lord.
Please take me back again
I'll try to stay this time, I pray this time, I won't stray this time.
Because when I'm close to you, I'm where I should be.
Each day giving praise to you
I know there is no better place to live than in your grace.
But I still leave you, Lord
and go walking my own way,
I don't deserve you, Lord,
So, for these three things I pray:
the time to know you, Lord
the strength to serve you, Lord,
the will to stay...here...Lord."
"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust...to stay...here...Lord."