Saint Paul's Lutheran Church of Irvine

Tomorrow Sunday March 10th 2013 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine: “Prodigal God” (Luke 15:1-3, 11-32) Remember Daylight Saving Time Begins Spring Ahead One Hour

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Tomorrow I have the privilege of preaching and presenting to you my favorite parable and what may very well be one of your favorites as well: the parable known as “The Prodigal Son” or “The Lost Son”…the popular designation, however, might be somewhat limited in representing this vital portion of God’s Word from Luke 15:1-3, 11-32.
For one, the parable tells the story not of one son, but two. The younger brother has issues, but so does the older brother…and between the two of them, all of us are represented. Both of them want to use the father for their own purposes; both of them care more about themselves than their father. The two sons/brothers are both sinners, but their sin comes out in radically different ways. We need to be aware of the profound difference and similarity at the same time.
It is the father, however, who is the most important figure in the parable. The father is representative of our Lord Jesus Christ. The presentation of Christ’s love and compassion for you is astounding. It typifies the Gospel itself and God is serious about this Gospel: your sins are forgiven and He refuses to negotiate this fact; He refuses to allow anything to get in the way of His profuse and prodigal love for you. To be prodigal is to spend everything. Jesus spent everything He had for you…for you…for you.
Come hear this message and be blessed.
And then receive His prodigal love and mercy through His Holy Sacrament. His body and blood given and shed for you.
What a joy it is for me to serve you dear Christian, but know that I do not live in the ethereal realms. I know what the Lord reveals to be true. You have burdens, you know your sin…God’s service tomorrow is to treat you with His medicine, to cover you in His righteousness, to love you with a radical and transforming love. Let us gather to receive from Him. He will gladly come to serve you again!
Here is an excerpt from tomorrow’s extended outline for the sermon:

“Prodigal God”

(Luke 15:1-3, 11-32)

Rev. Dr. Espinosa


Introduction: The definition of “prodigal”…adjective, 1. Recklessly extravagant; 2. Having spent everything.

1. Perhaps the most popular of all of Jesus’ parables!

2. This is my personal favorite, as indeed I have always felt that I am a recovering prodigal son! And how I thank God for my dad who confronted me with loving discipline!

3. The title of the parable, however, leads us to focus on one son, but there are two sons and they both have major issues!

a. In fact, given the fact that text informs us that the Pharisees were listening to Jesus and grumbling, it was the older brother contrasted to the younger brother who represented the proud Pharisees.

b. However, both brothers speak to the broad spectrum of sinners under two basic categories:

(1) The bad rebels…those who are immoral and irreligious. These reject the Lord and say, “I’m the only one who can decide what is right and wrong for me. I’m going to live as I want to live and find my true self and happiness that way. (Keller, The Prodigal God, 31)”

(2) The “good” rebels…those who are moral and quite religious. These reject the Lord and say, “I’m not going to do what I want, but what tradition and the community want me to do. (Keller, The Prodigal God, 31).”

c. Both are far from the God and the saving Gospel! Why? Because both live for something other than the Lord; both resent the father’s authority; and both wanted to tell the father (the Lord) what to do!

4. Still, the most important figure in the parable is neither the younger son nor the older son, but the most important figure is the father! First things first though…let’s get into the parable!

In Your Service and To Christ’s Glory,
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