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03-26-2017 - God Is Not Angry At You - Luke 15.1-3, 11-32 - by Pastor Dan Frey

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God Is Not Angry At You(Luke 15:1-3, 11-32)Luke 15:1-3, 11-32--Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around tohear him. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomessinners and eats with them.” 3 Then Jesus told them this parable…11 “There was a manwho had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of theestate.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 “Not long after that, the younger songot together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth inwild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that wholecountry, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen ofthat country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach withthe pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17 “When he came tohis senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here Iam starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, Ihave sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called yourson; make me like one of your hired men.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. “Butwhile he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion forhim; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 “The son said tohim, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to becalled your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe andput it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calfand kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is aliveagain; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heardmusic and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was goingon. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calfbecause he has him back safe and sound.’ 28 “The older brother became angry andrefused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered hisfather, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders.Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 Butwhen this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home,you kill the fattened calf for him!’ 31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me,and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because thisbrother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”I know this happened to me, when I was a kid. And I’m sure it happened to you as well.You were at home, misbehaving. You weren’t listening to your mom, but were doing theopposite of what she told you to do. And so finally she stopped trying to discipline youand just said, “We’ll talk about this when your dad gets home.” Did something like thatever happen to you? If it did, how did you feel when the time got closer to dad cominghome? Were you excited to see him, running out to meet him in the driveway to givehim a big hug? Or were you dreading his arrival, even hiding in your room, when he didcome home, because you knew you were about to be punished? That’s the way manypeople feel about their God. They see their God only as an angry father, who is going topunish them, because they have misbehaved. So many people hide from God and wantnothing to do with him. That’s why this 4th Sunday in Lent, this Sunday that focuses onthe grace of (continued)