As we (at least in the United States) begin to emerge from the challenging season of COVID, Pastor Laura and I are preaching a sermon series entitled, “Treasure the Gifts.” While it’s a time to look forward to the next season of life, it’s also a time to reflect. Each week we are reflecting on some of the unexpected gifts, blessings we received over these last months: recognition of the value of every person; our need for community.
This week, coinciding with Father’s Day, I want us to reflect upon gifts we have received involving family. That may sound strange, since many of us have either been separated from our families or quarantined with them. Yet if we will look closely, we may discover a gift we can treasure.
Jesus’ parable of “The Prodigal Son” (Luke 15:11-32) may help us recognize those gifts. While we often read that story as an allegory about our relationship with God, Jesus originally told it as a story about family: “Once upon a time, there was a father with two sons.”
As part of your prayer and devotion time this week, I invite you to read that story through the lens of the last 15 months. Pay attention to the parallels with your own life. One child is far from home and longs to be with his family. The other child has been at home and not enjoyed his time one bit. Listen for how God speaks through a familiar story to help us treasure the gifts of this last year.
During worship on Sunday, we will take time to remember and pray for the father in our lives – men who have loved us, raised us, and helped make us who we are. Treasure that gift, too.