Your God is too Boring Post VII

Mar 6, 2016

During Lent, we will be reading and discussing Jon Leonetti’s Your God is too Boring. The blog post that follows is part of our reflection. Feel free to read, share, comment on, and discuss all that is reflected on here.  While you don’t necessarily need to read the book in order to participate in our online discussion, we really recommend that you do, because, well, it’s a good book. Books and the reflection guide are three dollars and can be picked up at the back of church.

The Return of the Prodigal Son- Rembrandt

In chapter 4, Jon writes at length about the Parable of the Prodigal Son, which also happens to be the Gospel for this Sunday. My favorite book on the Parable is from Henri Nouwen- The Return of the Prodigal Son*, a reflection on the Rembrandt piece above. A snippet:

To come home to God means to return to God with all that I am and all
that I have. I cannot come home to God with just half of my being. As I reflect
again on the story of the prodigal son and try to experience myself in the embrace
of the father, I suddenly feel a certain resistance to being embraced fully and
totally. I feel a desire to be embraced, yes. But I also fear losing my
independence. I realize that God’s love is a consuming love. God wants not just a
part of me, but all of me. Only when I surrender myself completely to God’s
fatherly and motherly love can I expect to be free from distractions, ready to hear
the voice of love and able to recognize my unique call. (from Henri Nouwen’s Return of the Prodigal Son)

A few reflection questions for you:

  1. In the story of the prodigal son what touches you deeply? Have you ever felt like the prodigal child, the loving parent, or the hurt sibling?
  2. When have you felt or seen the “gentle and caressing” hand of God?
  3. How do you feel about the statement: God wants not just a part of me, but all of me?

Also, please enjoy my favorite song about the Parable, Welcome Home by Steve Angrisano:

*Incidentally, there are at least two copies of Nouwen's book in the parish library, the room just to the right of sanctuary. A great Lenten read. 

Mike E. 

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