the fourth sunday in lent
the PRAYER. . .
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.
the READING. . .
So [Jesus] told them this parable: “There was a man who had two sons. . . .”
the DEVOTION. . .
It was the last days at the Alamo. Surrounded, no help on the horizon, Travis was given an ultimatum. Surrender or die. According to legend, he drew a line in the dirt with his sword and told the men to choose. On one side of the line, if they were lucky, was life; on the other, sure and certain death.
Our lives are like that. Full of lines. Especially here in church. Lines between chaff/grain, between wheat/tares, between sheep/goats. Lines dividing us/them, separating saved/damned. So, when we come across a parable like this one, we, just, kinda, go there … naturally … automatically …
Younger/older. Stayed home/went away. The prodigal/the restrained. The line between the two? Straight and deep! But that opening verse, those first eight words, never registered until this week. “There was a man who had two sons.” Same name! Same blood! Same DNA! No line! No separation! No division! It was as if Jesus is there, following us as we draw that line in the dirt … Jesus filling it in … Jesus covering it up … Jesus wiping it out …
Bob Barndt, pastor