Fourth Sunday in Lent
Joshua 5:9-12, Psalm 32, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32. Pr 16: 18
One of my most sobering memories of the Training in Mission experience, is having to apologise to my fellow team members. As a result of something that I unknowingly did wrong. Bringing people from 12 different countries and cultures is bound to create challenges and misunderstandings. What was okay in my context was not accepted in the other person’s context. Sometimes it was my personality that came too strong for the other participants. Learning to live together as children of God required a lot of humility and repentance of my old ways. Repenting from practices that I believed to have been correct and true.
In today’s reading we come across the prodigal son who believed that there was a better life outside of the one that his father was providing for him. The prodigal son believed that there was something better than what was in the household his father had provided for him. In his own judgement of the situation, he knew better, and his desires led him astray. Pride tells us that what we know is better than what the next person knows. This great sin is the reason that we often seek our own way and refuse to be corrected or advised. Pride is often the root of conflict and wars. We all seek to be correct and refuse to make room for the other person. It is the destruction of many (Pr 16:18 ESV).
The prodigal son eventually repents and comes back home to the father where he gets a very warm welcome and a new understanding of what family and relationships is about. He repents when he comes to the realisation that he is limited in knowledge and in resources. On his own he can never make it. Upon acknowledging his iniquities and limitations begins a new place with the Father.
When we allow our self-righteousness ways to die so that the righteousness of God may take over. We position ourselves to receive renewal and reconciliation. Repentance is when we let go of our ways that we make room for God’s righteousness. It is totally letting go of what we felt and believe is right to be renewed in our thinking. This letting go of our ways is the beginning of a more content life and a more God honouring life as the body of Christ.
-Boitshoko Molatlhegi, United Congregational Church of Southern Africa
Dear Lord forgive us for the times we have sought our ways above your will and purpose for our lives. Lord we confess that we have sought our own pleasure and believed that our own righteousness was what we needed to live out your assignment. Form this day forward Lord, we position ourselves to follow your instruction and guidance that we may experience renewal and fullness of life.