“A Few Basic Things”

By Rev. Dr. Thom Bower, Ed. D. on March 31, 2019

Psalm 32 (CEB)

32 The one whose wrongdoing is forgiven,

whose sin is covered over, is truly happy!

The one the Lord doesn’t consider guilty—

in whose spirit there is no dishonesty—

that one is truly happy!

When I kept quiet, my bones wore out;

I was groaning all day long—

every day, every night!—

because your hand was heavy upon me.

My energy was sapped as if in a summer drought. Selah

So I admitted my sin to you;

I didn’t conceal my guilt.

“I’ll confess my sins to the Lord, ” is what I said.

Then you removed the guilt of my sin. Selah

That’s why all the faithful should pray to you during troubled times,

so that a great flood of water won’t reach them.

You are my secret hideout!

You protect me from trouble.

You surround me with songs of rescue! Selah

I will instruct you and teach you

about the direction you should go.

I’ll advise you and keep my eye on you.Don’t be like some senseless horse or mule,

whose movement must be controlled

with a bit and a bridle.

Don’t be anything like that!

10 The pain of the wicked is severe,

but faithful love surrounds the one who trusts the Lord.

11 You who are righteous, rejoice in the Lord and be glad!

All you whose hearts are right, sing out in joy!


Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32 (CEB)

All the tax collectors and sinners were gathering around Jesus to listen to him. The Pharisees and legal experts were grumbling, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Jesus told them this parable: 11 “A certain man had two sons. 12 The younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the inheritance.’ Then the father divided his estate between them. 13 Soon afterward, the younger son gathered everything together and took a trip to a land far away. There, he wasted his wealth through extravagant living. 14 “When he had used up his resources, a severe food shortage arose in that country and he began to be in need.15 He hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to eat his fill from what the pigs ate, but no one gave him anything. 17 When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have more than enough food, but I’m starving to death! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I no longer deserve to be called your son. Take me on as one of your hired hands.” ’20 So he got up and went to his father. “While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion. His father ran to him, hugged him, and kissed him. 21 Then his son said, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Quickly, bring out the best robe and put it on him! Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet! 23 Fetch the fattened calf and slaughter it. We must celebrate with feasting 24 because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life! He was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.25 “Now his older son was in the field. Coming in from the field, he approached the house and heard music and dancing. 26 He called one of the servants and asked what was going on. 27 The servant replied, ‘Your brother has arrived, and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he received his son back safe and sound.’ 28 Then the older son was furious and didn’t want to enter in, but his father came out and begged him. 29 He answered his father, ‘Look, I’ve served you all these years, and I never disobeyed your instruction. Yet you’ve never given me as much as a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours returned, after gobbling up your estate on prostitutes, you slaughtered the fattened calf for him.’ 31 Then his father said, ‘Son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad because this brother of yours was dead and is alive. He was lost and is found.’”


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