Sunday Reflection: What have we lost?

As I have meditatied on the Revised Common Lectionary Gospel Reading for this week, one idea has stayed stuck.

Though this weeks reading is anchored in time and place (Luke 15:vs 1-2), it is still worthy of a message of the word that brings it to the attention of today.

I have written in the past about the compexities of families, this year my thoughts turned more to the metaphor of the church as parent. It, The Church, has children that have left, my own included, who are doing life their way, and not the way of the church, they are not attending regular sunday services, they are not attending, church socials or prayer or study groups, but they are on their own mission with God. Like the father in the second parable of today’s readings (Luke 15: 11b-32), the parable often refered to as the Prodigal son, the Church has let it’s children go, but unlike the open armed welcome of the father when they return, often these children of the church are treated as guests or outsiders, when they turn up for Feast Day’s (Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Christmas for example), not as a valued part of the familiy/community, not as lost prodigee, to be celebrated and valued.

I am a little afraid, that as we return to face to face worship that those left on line for what ever reason, be it for health and safety, for convenience, for disabilty, for travel, hospitalisation or nursing home admission, will also be treated as no longer members of the Church. I have already been told in my own home congregation, that unless you physically attend you are not a part of the community.

Until The Church is welcoming to all, like the father has embrassed his son as son, the Church looses. It looses vibrancy, it looses questioning, it looses genuine engagement, in short it losses growth.

If we fail to look for the missing ones like the Shepherd in one of the two adjoining parables to this weeks Gospel reading( Luke 15:4-11a), and just tend the members of congregation that stay, what are we tending? traditionalism. The parable of the father with two sons, does not tell us what happens long term, did practices change? did they stay the same?

I’m just asking the question. What have we lost in our churches today?


Wendy L.

I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present and emerging.


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