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"Come Unto Me" - Day 15

Welcome to “Come Unto Me” as we journey together through the gospel of Luke. Let us pray: Gracious God we thank you for the Living Word that gives witness to the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. May your Holy Spirit open our souls to this Living Word. Amen

Monday, August 10 / Luke Chapter 15

The parable of the Lost (Prodigal) Son is a surprising story about a son, his brother, and their welcoming father. Jesus told parables to help his listeners understand what God’s kingdom was like. Jesus’ listeners would have been surprised at the father’s generous welcome. Are you surprised? Let’s take a look at this parable by responding to a number of questions taken from the Serendipity Bible for Groups:

1. Why do you think the prodigal son decided to leave home?

a. to grow up

b. to get away from his father’s values

c. he wasn’t appreciated at home

d. to try to make it on his own

e. to get away from his older brother

2. What was it that caused the prodigal son to come to his senses?

a. homesickness

b. guilt for what he had done

c. feeling sorry for himself

d. feeling sorry for his father

e. hunger pangs

f. realization that he was stupid

g. he “hit bottom”

3. When the prodigal son returned home, what was his father’s attitude?

a. come on in but you’re grounded

b. you have disgraced the family

c. where’s the money

d. I don’t approve of what you’ve done, but you are still my son

e. welcome home, son, I love you

4. When the older brother (who had been good) heard music and dancing, what was his attitude?

a. it’s unfair

b. don’t expect me to forgive him

c. no use being good

d. he blew his inheritance and now he’s blowing mine

5. Do you think that the father was wise to give his son his inheritance when he knew his son would probably blow it?

6. If the father had a pretty good idea where his son had gone, do you think he should have gone after him?

7. Do you think it was wise for the father to “kill the fatted calf” and throw a party when his son came home?

MY OWN STORY (Discover some of your own story through this parable.)

1. By temperament and experience, whom do you identify with in this story? Prodigal son, older brother, the father

2. If you had to compare your spiritual journey to the prodigal’s journey, where are you now?

a. at home, but not too happy

b. in a far country

c. coming to my senses

d. on my way home, but not sure what I’ll find

e. I’ve just arrived/feeling great

f. enjoying the fattened calf and the party

3. When it comes to spiritual things, what is your responses to God’s “party”?

a. denial: there’s no party in this life

b. party pooper: sorry, I’m too busy

c. party lover: I’m ready, let’s party

d. wallflower: I’m there, but I can’t dance

4. What’s the lesson for you in this parable?

a. you’ve got to let your children go, even though you know they will probably blow it

b. God’s love has no strings

c. waiting for your children to come is painful

d. older brothers have trouble enjoying the party

e. love overcomes mistakes

Sometimes it is helpful to use a tool like the one above to look at a parable that is so familiar. Did you discover some new things about the kingdom of God? This parable is full of surprises. What surprised you about the kingdom of God?

Let us pray: God of compassion, you welcome the wayward, and you embrace us all with your mercy. By our baptism clothe us with garments of your grace, and feed us at the table of your love, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen (ELW Fourth Sunday in Lent C)

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