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Saturday of the Second Week of Lent

Post modern, Post industrial, Post cereal... we are surrounded by so many 'post' labels. One that is striking to me is the idea of a post Christian society. Many are familiar with Christianity, but or society is not necessarily Christian. The parable of the prodigal son spoke to me in regard to that reality. The parable speaks to the idea and our call to hospitality.

"God is Dead" is the famous line from Nietzsche and "Father is Dead" is what the younger son seems to declare to his family. This is the claim he makes when he asks for his inheritance early. When we seek to create utopia without God, or even claim that utopia is impossible while people progress belief in God, we express a desire for our inheritance early. But as Christians we must echo that God lives. This is the great claim we'll make at Easter -- He Lives! He is not merely a lawgiver, nor is God my sugar daddy in the sky, rather God is an interested and invested Father. Disciples should be able to answer the question, "What has God been doing in your life?"
He has been calling me to hospitality. When many of my peers have stepped away from their faith am I ready to welcome them with open arms? Do I meet them on the road or demand they walk in shame through the house to meet me? Do I demand that they make themselves recognizable again first or do I clothe them in recognition to remind them how God loves then? I aspire to this but I know I am tempted to be like the older brother.
Maybe we are more like the older brother than we care to admit. We have to be honest with ourselves about that and ask "why?" I can be tempted to confuse familiar with familial. Confusing being around and belonging.
How many no longer call the faith home because it read familiar and but not familial? Do we assume that being around will lead to someone feeling that they belong? The older brother in his response shows us that these don't happen naturally.
May we respond with a hospitality that foster a family of faith that bears witness to our invested and interested Father.
- Spencer Hargadon