Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Wednesday Message

My family therapy supervisor used to always remind me to look for the "third piece" of the puzzle. When hearing a client's story for the first time there were often two players identified; the person telling the story and the one they may feel is responsible for their problem. Sometimes I resonated with their account, sometimes not, though what I thought didn't really matter anyway. What was important was encouraging them to identify their own needs and find agency to live their life and participate in their relationships in a way that kept them safe and as healthy as possible.  

"Look for the third piece" my supervisor would repeat. "How boring would a stage-play or a novel be if there were only two characters?" he would say. "How boring would the fairy tale story of "Little Red Riding Hood" be without the wolf? A girl brings a meal to her aging and ill grandmother. Not much to go on there." And he was right. The drama and passion, the tension and movement in life's relationships comes from that third piece which unbalances the simple story.

Sunday's gospel reading is the familiar parable of the "Prodigal Son". A father has two sons. The younger son asks for an early advance on his inheritance and the father agrees.  That is the core of the story. Not much of an attention getter, if it were the whole story.

But wait: there is an older brother to weigh in. He is bound by convention and social construct to take over the household when his father can no longer run everything. ("Household", by the way, is the closet word for our notion of "family" in the Bible. It does have significant differences, though. The household is the interdependent community for which the father's business acumen and wealth are responsible. It includes spouses and children and relatives who need to survive. It includes servants, slaves, concubines and their children. It includes all of the workers and their dependents who need a "householder" so that they can survive.)

The "household" itself is put at risk by the father's decision as the payoff of the younger son weakens the financial standing of the whole community to say nothing of the challenge it brings to the stability of social convention.

The father is weakened and made vulnerable by his decision to part with the given order of "how things ought be done" and to part with the cash!

And then the son returns! Another character in the drama emerges, that of the repentant heir.

Each "third piece" of this  has its own valid story to tell to complicate the simple agreement between the generous dad and the desperate younger son.

Look for the third piece. A life of faith is not just a simple story between me and Jesus. Each sheep in the fold (to mix my parables a bit) has its role in shaping of the whole. How I live and perceive my life as a Christian involves the entire community of faith and all of God's people. It even seems to change God who chooses to become vulnerable even to the point of living and dying a human life.

Our journey through Lent prepares us to see this vulnerability-the third piece-for the sake of the world.

Along the way,

Pastor Dan

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THIS WEEK

Wednesday    5:30 p   Lenten Potluck/bread soup supper
                      6:30 p  Holden Evening Prayer Service

Saturday       9:30 a Choir Rehearsal
                     12:00 P Walk in the Park @ SOV
                     6:00 p Movie Night "Schindler's List"

Sunday          8:30 & 11:00 a Worship Service

Looking ahead

Spring Clean up
Spring Cleanup Saturday April 6, 8:30 - noon.
Please join us for the annual spring cleanup of the church.
We will spruce up the inside and outside as we prepare for Palm Sunday, Easter, and the Easter Egg Hunt.

Community Easter Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 13th at 10 am
Children 0-8 years old (Bring your own basket)
Activities and snacks available
*Volunteer's needed;(12 yrs and older) to help with first annual community Easter Egg Hunt. hiding eggs, filling eggs, crafts, sign in desk, snack serving etc      

Volunteer meeting April 7 @ 12:00 p