“God Doesn't Play by Our Rules”             

Grace or un-Grace
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

In this church there was a very strong Christian, someone we might call a ‘pillar of the church’.  She was someone who the rest of the congregation strived to imitate.  She knew her Bible. She lived an exemplary life.

A member of the church, a young man, contracted AIDS. He was able to hide it from his fellow church members for quite a while until one day he had to go to the hospital.  In the hospital he fell into a coma. When he awoke, this woman, this ‘pillar of the church’ was holding his hand.

“I can’t go back to church,” the young man told the woman. “I’m too embarrassed, they wouldn’t accept me.” The woman just smiled and said, “Oh yes you can come back, and when you come back you sit right next to me.”

One writer has said: “God has an ongoing love affair with sinners. He throws a party of rich food and drink to get their attention. He invites the undeserving. Dances with the never-do-wells and Slips a ring on their finger.”

In our parable we see that the younger son “began to be in need. So, he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.”  What had happened to his fair-weather friends?

Fair-weather friends tend to say to us: “I’m sorry. You say you’ve lost all your money? Well, I’m through with you. I’m not interested in you anymore.”  So the younger son quickly finds out that he has no real friends in this far country.

And as he worked feeding the pigs, “He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.” 

And when Jesus says this, every Israelite, both Pharisees and tax collectors listening to Him that day had to wince because a Hebrew couldn’t go any lower than that.

Jewish persons weren’t supposed to have anything to do with pigs, and then to stoop to the place where he would go down and live with them and even envy them…was horrifying!  This kid had definitely hit rock bottom!

Continuing tomorrow.

Message For The Day