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815Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of November 17, 2013

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Nov 17, 2013
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      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of November 17, 2013

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      As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
      here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
      "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
      Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.

      Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
      meditation.  We hope you will be blessed.  Thank you
      for forwarding this to your friends.

      Hugged by God

      "Then Jesus said, 'There was a man who had two sons.  The younger of them said to his father, "Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me."  So he divided his property between them.  A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and travelled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living.  When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need.  So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs.  He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything.  But when he came to himself he said, "How many of my father's hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger!  I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.'"  So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion."
      Luke 15:11-20

      The parable of the prodigal child is perhaps the best known in the entire Bible.  As a master storyteller, Jesus leaves the interpretation open, so each listener can find a place somewhere in this timeless story.  The parable is about people of all kinds coming home to God.  The bottom line of this old, old story is that God loves us no matter who we are, where we have been, or what we have done.  It is a tale of hope, love, and joy with a happy ending.

      Through the parable, we experience the Gospel at its best, purest, and simplest form.  God is generous to forgive and eager to reconcile with us.  Although human beings may break our hearts and refuse reconciliation, restoration, and forgiveness, God will never refuse us.  Even if people are unwillingly to accept us back into healing and healthy, joyous relationships, God is eager to embrace and restore us.

      When we drift away from the Eternal by our own life choices, it is never too late to return back to God.  Gay or straight, young or old, rich or poor, male or female, when we tentatively approach God we can expect to be greeted by God's welcoming arms.  God is already knocking at the doors of our heart.  This is very good news indeed.

      Today's parable is more than a story about a wayward child, a loving parent, and an angry sibling frustrated with the parent's instant and generous forgiveness.  It is a compelling story worth retelling in our own words about being hugged by God, while experiencing divine forgiveness with celebration.  It is about repentance and reconciliation.
       
      We are ever so grateful, God, for this wonderful parable inviting reconciliation, restoration, and forgiveness with you.  Embrace us with your love.  Help us live as a beloved child of God, snug and secure in your loving arms, for the rest of our lives.  Amen.

      Grace and peace,
      Chi Rho Press

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