This morning for a wee change I attended Bray Park Community Church (which was, and perhaps still is), part of the Christian Reformed Church here in Australia. During the singing there were some members of the congregation inviting us to smell their underarm deodorant! Fine! I can’t complain as I have been known to wave my hands around whenever I speak! So, if you wish to wave or hold your hands in the air while you sing, then be my guest! Anyway, that is not what I wanted to talk to you about.
I was impressed by the power-point slides which not only had the words to the hymns flash up on the overhead-projector screen but as a background it actually had the rising (or was it setting?) sun with moving waves rolling onto the sandy seashore. O the wonders of modern technology! Great stuff! But again, that’s not what I wanted to talk to you about.
The preacher wanted to allude to something in the The Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:25-32). So he flashed up on the screen certain verses from that parable. (I think he used the NIV but I’ve used the NKJV below):“Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’” Luke 15:25-32.
The preacher was talking about something else entirely but something struck me – you know, the way it sometimes does at church when the Holy Spirit shoots an arrow of truth into your heart! Now, I know that you all know this and have seen it every time you read or hear this parable. However, it was those words at the end of verse thirty: “You have killed the fatted calf for him.” O, the father in the parable killed the fatted calf so that he and his deadbeat prodigal son could celebrate his change of mind, (a.k.a. repentance) – the son who devoured his father’s livelihood with harlots.What a picture! What a picture appeared on the overhead projector screen of my mind! There it was! Vivid as anything as the Holy Spirit burned this into my heart – My heavenly Father killed His Son so that He and I (who devoured His livelihood!) could celebrate my change of mind about Him!
O let’s make merry and be glad. I once was dead but I am alive again, “I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see!”