Where I used to work in Purley, the church was directly on a main trunk road into London. It was choked with traffic day and night. Parking was always a trial. Now the church had a car park. Well, not so much a place for members’ cars as a messenger of Satan sent to try us! We could get a good number of cars into it if we stacked them one on top of another. It was so bad I wanted to put up a sign “Illegal parkers will be baptised”.
At any church meeting, big decisions, thousands of pounds expenditure would go through on the nod. But mention the car park, and we’d all be there until midnight!
“How dare they?”
“Who do they think they are taking our car places?”
That car park was a problem to us all, excepting our little caretaker. To him it was an opportunity.He would talk cheerfully to every illegal parker about what went on in the church, about how people heard the good news of Jesus and how they were changed, and how the congregation rejoiced in praising God
Mostly they drove off in a scream of rubber, but Fred had mastered the car park. We hadn’t. It made us angry, ready to tick people off, demand they move … or else. I guess it’s a form of stationary road-rage.
Why am I telling you this? Well in these few days we are looking at the story of the prodigal sons (yes, ’sons’ plural). Now if we had to choose which we were like, with which would we honestly identify? Listen to each of them:
The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
I am no longer worthy to be called your son’.
Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound’. The older brother became angry and refused to go in. Luke 15: 21 & 25-28
A Prayer: Lord, show me the springs of my anger – today – and help me to repent and enter the joyful celebration of your love.
Now Read: Romans 12: 1-8