Two Sons #2

August 29, 2021

Gathering Question

  • Share a time that you were the guest of honor at a party.

Gathering Prayer

  • What stood out to you in the sermon? What insights did you gain? What questions did it raise?

Luke 15:17-20
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So, he got up and went to his father.

  • Why is it so hard for us to own our sin and admit it to ourselves and God?
  • Why is it so tempting to ignore our sins or make excuses for our sins rather than owning them?
  • How can being honest with ourselves and God about our sins be a life-giving step toward forgiveness and healing?
  • One of the main consequences of sin is broken relationships. What are some of the ways that sin can damage or destroy relationships?

Luke 15:20
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

  • How did the father respond when he saw his son returning?
  • What does the father’s response say to us about him?
  • The father in the story represents God, so what does his response tell us about God?
  • How do you think the son felt when his father ran to him and hugged him and kissed him?
  • How does it feel to know that God is eagerly waiting to welcome us with open arms when we come to him to confess our sins?

Luke 15:21-24
“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So, they began to celebrate.

  • Why do we sometimes focus on God as a judge?
  • How is it different to think of God as a loving, grace-filled father?
  • Is it hard for you to believe that God loves you so much he would throw a party just for you? Why? Why not?

Matthew 3:13-17
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. 16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

At his baptism, God said to Jesus: “This is my son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

  • What do you think it meant to Jesus to hear those powerful words of affirmation from his Heavenly Father?
  • What does it mean to you to know that you are a beloved child of God?

Closing Prayer

Give thanks to God for his loving, forgiving grace and take a moment to reflect on that wonderful grace. With the fullness of God’s grace clear in your mind, humbly name your sins and confess them to God. Invite God to reveal other sins in your life to you, as well. Then thank God that you are his beloved child.