Water Mosaic echoes from home

pondering the mysteries, simplicity, and humor of life

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Fulfilling Evening

I had the privilege to experience 2 wonderful gifts yesterday after work. One was seeing and visiting with an old friend Zack Stroup. Zack is a someone I look up to very much. He truly lives in the moment and seeks be alive in all his endeavors. He's planning on hiking the Appalachian Trail in April with another friend of ours, David Jones (whom I saw last night as well). When asking questions, he honestly wants to know the answers, but not just the answers. He desires to hear your heart and your soul speak not just the simple words that leave your lips. He is a kindred spirit and a great pilgrim in this journey. I'm glad to enjoy his presence when I can. I know God is among us when we commune together.

Our meeting was centered around the second experience: hearing Randy Harris at Otter Creek church. I could listen to him all day probably. Using the Prodigal Son story in Luke 15, he talked about living simply in a complicated world. Basically Randy told us that Jesus uses the first 2 stories in chapter 15 to set up the prodigal narrative. Even though we have a tendency to stop at the son returning home and having a party thrown in his honor, we can forget that this story is not that bright. Rather it is very dark because the older son is anger that his sibling is back and there is no punishment that ensues from the boys' father. Why was the story told? Some people didn't like the sinful company Jesus was hanging around. Why are we like the older brother? The church likes to figure who's in and who's out, who's invited to the party and who's not, who deserves to be and who doesn't. But aren't we called to throw open the doors and party?!? Why do we make Christianity so complicated? What will it take to be a church of the prodigal? It won't be easy or clean, but it sure will simplify things.

Randy also said something to this effect: I wear this cross around my neck but usually wear it on the inside of my shirt. I'm not sure what people think when they see it. Do they see someone who will bash them over the head with the Bible, or will they see someone who will lay down their life for them?