Prodigal Grace

Prodigal Grace by Lisle Gwynn Garrity (A Sanctified Art)

Luke 15: 1-3, 11b-32

I have a paper bag in my closet that holds pieces of handmade pottery that have been accidentally broken. I haven’t parted with them because I love them. They each tell a story, they each hold memories. I hold hope for them: someday, I will make something new out of them. Someday, I will repair them. Or make a mosaic out of them. Their broken state in no way reduces my fondness for these pieces.

We feel regret when we break something – a heart, a promise, a word. It’s painful to realize you’ve made a mistake. Painful to know you hurt something or someone you love, or maybe you’ve hurt yourself.  

When we make a mistake, it feels uncomfortable. There are so many ways of dealing with this discomfort: hiding, minimizing, justifying, blaming, punishing, making space for the discomfort, owning, apologizing, making amends.

Sometimes it takes a long time to admit we’ve made a mistake, or that we’ve lost our way and are in need of help. Like the prodigal son, it can be so hard to turn around, go home and ask for help. Why did he have to get so low before he headed home? How did the fear of admitting he made a mistake get so big, so disabling?  What might make it easier to admit mistakes?

Finally, the pain of being hungry and eating pig food became greater than his fear of going home. On the long walk back, he would have spent time regretting how he’d blown the money, wondering how his father would respond. 

When the father finally sees him far off, his focus isn’t on the “sin”. His focus is on his son. Nothing could cancel out the father’s love.

Sometimes we wander off. Squander our energy. Our time. Our money. Our heart. Waste that precious resource on something or someone that doesn’t serve us. That isn’t worthy of the sacrifice. We end up in a pickle. Feeling lost. Feeling unsure how to put things right.

In these moments, God is not sitting angrily in judgement over us. God is there with us, waiting with compassion, until we are ready to change. Until we are ready to realize we are very tired, hungry, empty. Ready for a new way. Ready to come home. 

Those times in our lives when we wander off, make mistakes, hit dead ends, don’t make us any more or less beautiful or sacred in God’s eyes. They are part of our story, part of what has shaped us. God’s grace is with us, not despite our mistakes, but with us in our mistakes. 

We are all on a gentle road home towards God. We are journeying towards knowing that deep down, we are God’s beloved children. This is our deepest identity. The deepest truth of who we are. We journey towards seeing ourselves as God sees us: Worthy. Beloved. Held.

No matter how bad a mistake you make, no matter how much of a mess you get yourself into, nothing you can do can cancel out God’s love. The road home is waiting. The front door is wide open.

Deep peace and blessings.

—Anne

Rev. Anne Baxter Smith
Pastor of the Church at Southpoint

Worship Calendar

If you’re planning to join us for an in-person service, please read our Covid policy. It’s kept up to date, here.

In-Person 10:00 am on Sundays at 15639 24 Avenue, Surrey!

Sun. Apr 3  Fifth Sunday of Lent
Leah and Angela holding the service
Brazen Acts of Beauty
John 12: 1-8

Sun. Apr 10 Palm Sunday
Speaker: Nadia VanderKuip
Even the Stones Cry Out
Luke 19: 28-40

Fri. Apr 15   Good Friday

Sun. Apr 17 Easter Sunday
Speaker: Anne Smith
An Expansive Life
Luke 24: 1-12

Sun. Apr 24 All OUT 
Good Seed Sunday!

Sun. May  1
Speaker: Jen Hubbard

Sun. May  8
Speaker: Nadia VanderKuip

New to Southpoint?

At Southpoint, it all begins with God’s love. Just as a plant grows, it receives sunshine, so we grow as we receive God’s love. At Southpoint, we are growing in our capacity to love God, ourselves, one another, and creation.

We seek to be a community of grace that is intentional yet organic, spacious yet authentic, grace-filled yet accountable. * We are fully welcoming. *

We encourage relationships rather than run programs, yet we recognize the importance of intentionality and structure as we nurture life together.

As a community, we seek to put our love in action. We value helping out on Sunday mornings, sharing food, and showing up in hard times. We keep our church life simple so folk have time to build relationships with family, friends, and neighbours. We encourage folk to serve in tangible ways within the wider community. We rent space rather than own a building, allowing us to do more with less, supporting missions at home and abroad.

Curious to know more? If you’re reading this on Facebook, please visit our website (southpoint.ca) to learn more about us! If you’d like to really peek inside, sign up for our weekly Southpoint News, a MailChimp distributed email—you can unsubscribe anytime and will not be added to our contacts list. To reach out by email please write to office@southpoint.ca.

No comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *