Hey all! Welcome to Brave Spaces! This blog is for those who wish to connect in a time where that term means different things to different people. Some people may see a Zoom call as their connection, or texting, or Facetime, or even face to face connection! Yeah, that is still a thing, although not as prominent as before COVID. However, you are choosing to connect during this time, I hope you feel more connected to one another and to the God. through this blog. I hope that this is a place where you feel loved and heard and challenged to love and hear others.

            During the message I heard at church, the pastor used the prodigal son as her example of connection. I encourage you to read this passage. This can be found in Luke chapter 15, verses 11-32. It began to change my life in new ways. The thing about the Bible is that it is living and God can speak differently to different people, all while using the same passage! Read it, and re-read it. Connect with God and ask him what he wants you to take from this.

            But, if you haven’t read it or are super busy right now, here’s a short summary. (: Essentially, there were two sons. One son was fed up with being at home and wished to have his inheritance, even though his father was still alive! And so, his Father, being the generous man he is, gave him the money. Can you guess what this son did with it? I bet we all can just imagine. He spent it recklessly. He spent all his money and then came back to his father as a penniless beggar. He was so ashamed and came back to face what his actions created.

On the sideline, there was his older brother. His older brother was the typical good Christian who follows all the rules and works and works to make his Father happy. At some point, don’t we all go through phases such as these? But as my church tells the little kids in children’s church, “God is in a good mood when He thinks of you.” The older brother did not understand this. The older brother was pissed that his father first, gave his younger brother all the money, and then, he had the audacity to accept him back and get this, he THREW HIM A LARGE PARTY. The older brother wanted punishment. He wanted his version of “justice”. His younger brother deserved it. He got all this money and he did not steward it. Doesn’t the Bible say to steward what we are given? His brother was so angry and hurt that he did not attend that party. He was angry at his brother and hurt that his father did not recognize all his hard work and faithfulness towards the goal of inheritance.

We can speculate that inheritance was the goal of the older brother. He didn’t understand the person who was constantly with him, his Father. He also probably felt all alone, just doing the work, and for what? So his younger brother to get everything he desired? What he did not see was the love of his Father for both of them. I bet if he were to ask his father for a party, he would give it gladly! Everything his father had, also belonged to the older brother.  It’s as if he was working not for his father, but for a cruel slave master, someone whom he obeyed during his job, for the paycheck, and then went home to see his “real family”. I’ll ask you a question, why did he ask the servant instead of his father, about the party?

Sometimes we can see God as a Father who just wants our obedience. He just wants me to follow this rule, or that rule. What comes to my mind is a child who asks why they should obey their parents. The parents’ response? “Because I said so.” God does not say that. A radical thought, God actually doesn’t care about only our obedience as much as you think. If he simply wanted your obedience or to simply follow all the rules, he would have left us in the Old Testament mindset of the Law. Obedience should simply be a natural reaction of our love for our father. Our love and trust in him, nudges us to follow after Him. The gospel is not “fair”. He gave us grace in response to our disobedience; and once we accept that abundant grace for ourselves, we can give it to others without regard for ourselves. We have a confidence to know that we are taken care of by our loving Father. Today, rest in the abundance God has already given us and the good plans he has for us. Once we are confident that He has good for us regardless of others actions and mistakes, we can love others with this same love.

As you journey through this week, think about how your love and connection with God has lead you to obey him in the small or big things.

These songs are good reflection tools. Enjoy (:

Tender- Taylor Armstrong

Love on Top- Beyonce

Feel free to send in your comments/reactions. I’d love to hear from you! Stay up to date for the next post where we’ll talk about connecting with God before, during, and after a pandemic!

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