The Prodigal Father

Trip Start Aug 21, 2010
Trip End Dec 31, 2010

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Flag of United States  , New Jersey
Saturday, October 2, 2010

We stayed in the Ramada in Wayne, NJ this weekend. This hotel is one of the redeeming factors of New Jersey, we believe. If you remember from last year's blog, it's where we stayed the infamous "North Bergen Week", among other times passing through. It's also where we visited Steve and Ashley last weekend.
So it was good to see our good pal Ramada Wayne again.

Church on Sunday. We attended Madison Avenue Baptist Church, an incredibly multi-cultural assembly. This Sunday was missions week. First note: This church, with a congregation of no more than 250, supports over 60 missionaries. All their names were on a board at the front of the sanctuary. It was impressive. When it came time for the congregation to give their faith offerings to pledge their giving specifically to missions for the next year, the vast majority of families stood up and walked up to the front. Very cool.
Our favorite thing, though, was this. This Sunday they didn't have enough headsets to translate the pastor's sermon into Spanish, so the preacher (a guest pastor) spoke in both English and Spanish. He would say a line of his sermon in English, then say it again in Spanish. He continued flawlessly like this for the entire length of the sermon. It was kind of funny when he would tell a joke. The English-listeners would laugh, they he'd say it again in Spanish, and then the Spanish-listeners would laugh. But we were impressed with how fluidly he spoke. Imagine doubling each thought of your sermon--even side comments you hadn't planned on saying.

The sermon, if you are interested, was about the prodigal son. Heard the passage preached a dozen times before. But he made a point that was new to us. The word prodigal doesn't mean bad or irresponsible; it doesn't even mean "lost, but now is found." Prodigal means
1.wastefully or recklessly extravagant: (so, the son squandered his wealth.)
It also means: or yielding profusely; lavish
So then, if you know the story, couldn't we go ahead and label the father as prodigal? The prodigal son spent all his father's inheritance money on women and parties. When he repented and came ome, his father threw a massive party for him and welcomed him back. No expense spared. The father was prodigal. Likewise, our Heavenly Father is a prodigal Father as well. He had his Son take human form and come down to earth to die for the sinners He loves.  We aren't really worth it! The price was too much, He really paid too much for what we were worth. But yet he still gave up His Son and loves us profusely. How prodigal.
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