The radical message found in the Parable of the Prodigal Son is that sometimes keeping the rules can actually lead to even greater sin; sometimes rule following may sever our relationships much more severely than breaking the rules. Both of the sons in the parable are lost. Each one of them attempted to use the father to get what they really wanted: status and wealth. One did it by breaking the rules, while the other one did it by following the rules. The sin that Jesus seems to be most concerned with, the sin that is at the heart of today’s parable is pride.
St. Paul reminds us of who we are. “We are children of God,” he says “and if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.” What an incredible thing for us to remember: that we are privileged to be God’s beloved children (and joint heirs with Christ). However, it’s important for us to understand this in the correct way. St. Paul is not telling us that we are deities; nor is he saying that we are divine creatures and equal to Christ. As we know, we are still human beings, and sometimes we act all too “human.” Instead, God is the one who chooses to make us His children through the spirit of adoption.
One of my seminary professors used to jokingly say that reading the Gospel of Mark is a dangerous thing for modern-day Christian disciples to do. Instead, he would say, “they should start with Matthew, Luke or John.” This is because the 12 disciples do not come off very well in Mark. Out of all the Gospels, Mark portrays the apostles of Christ as a group of dense and dimwitted disciples who just don’t seem to get it.
Preached July 8, 2012. http://media.blubrry.com/stec/p/stthomashouston.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Sermon_You-are-what-you-think.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | RSS
Preached on June 24, 2012. http://media.blubrry.com/stec/p/stthomashouston.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Sermon-6_24_20121.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | RSS
Preached 5/27/2012 by the Rev Chad Martin http://media.blubrry.com/stec/p/stthomashouston.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Sermon-Whitsunday-Martin.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | RSS
Preached 5/6/2012, by the Rev’d Chad Martin http://media.blubrry.com/stec/p/stthomashouston.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Swift-to-hear.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | RSS
Preached April 22, 2012 by The Rev’d Chad Martin at St Thomas’ Episcopal Church, Houston, Texas http://media.blubrry.com/stec/p/stthomashouston.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Sermon-The-Good-Shepderd.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | RSS
Preached at St Thomas’ Episcopal Church on the First Sunday After Easter by the Rev. Chad Martin