When God Ran

child running

I’ve heard this sermon (Prodigal Son Luke 15) so often I always gave it a twist when I preach it, focusing on the “lostness” of the older son, a little eye opener for many and kudos point for me as an original thinker. Of course, it is absolutely unoriginal because the context clearly emphasizes this point, that the older son refused to join the father and got himself lost in his own home because he hated the fact that the younger returned to a fan fare and not a well-deserved whipping.

But the point is not even the older son. It is the father, his prodigal heart, running to the son that ran with his inheritance. The image of that running father captures God’s heart which is the real point of the parable. Jesus was trying to tenderize the heart of the Pharisees by scandalizing them with a God who would lose so recklessly.

It is an image hard for us to see because we hardly see it in the real world. God is more humane than humans. But few days ago as I was preaching it, I saw it, the stirred dust, the wind flapping through the folds of the robe getting tattered at the hem, the arms flailing wildly, the Father running to us. And in that moment, when the father is being a father and not a keeper of civility, a guardian of morality, a protector of social systems, but just a father who is running to his son seen as a toddler who just scraped his knees and crying, in that moment when the father is being just a father, he also ceases to be a father and becomes a child, running without care in the world, running just because his heart said “go.” And a child meets a child.

3 Replies to “When God Ran”

  1. I saw pic of your family, house, and church. Looks like you are enjoying your new life and ministry in AZ. Blessings to you, Sam!

  2. Sammy,Keep your theological, spiritual, ministerial ephiphanies coming (including fatherhood). I’ll visit from time to time. Let your mind flow bro. Your reflections help unleash my own theological incubations which sometimes cannot be shared freely with parishoners as we pastors are expected to remain within acceptable (man made)cultural and theological boundries. P.S. Nice pics, except the one with the wife-beater. -Sam from Buffalo

  3. thanks sam, for the encouraging words and for taking time to listen to the rambling of a temporal being…the whole ocean in a water drop? as U2 sings it?

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