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Knowledge & News
Thought provoking topics and series, necessary news and information.
This week we rounded out our exploration of the prodigal son with a practical reading that meets us where we live, in the complex world of relational dynamics, family history, conflicting values, and a sincere hope in the power of reconciliation. We saw what happens when we free the story from the Divine-Human allegory connected with father and sons. Then we saw what has really been lost, how people come to realize, and where God might be in the story, if not as the father.
This week we revisited the Prodigal Son story one last time, removing the idea of the Father as being allegorical for God from our reading. Peter Begalla -- our resident expert on family dynamics in business -- tag-teamed with Ben this week, providing insight on the family unit from the perspective of familial businesses. We discussed the importance of having a balance between unconditional love and expectations of business being in balance. We considered that what is lost is not the son, but the wholeness of the family. We are forced to hope that the family eventually reaches reconciliation, but in the end we are given no conclusion. The story doesn't resolve, and so we are left with hope that reconciliation is possible.
This train of thought led us to another question: If the father does represent God, where is God in the story? To answer this, we discussed the need to liberate our understanding of God as being personified. We considered that God could be present in the story as that uncomfortable feeling that we get from the lack of resolution; that God is present in the hope that reconciliation occurs. We considered the idea that God is present throughout the story in this un-personified way -- in the spirit of reconciliation and celebration.
We are a misfit faith community that gathers in DeLand on Sundays at 5pm. Come as you are.
We value highly the metaphor of journey. We’re different people from different places and backgrounds, representing an intergenerational community, and we’ve traveled different paths. So, we agree not to make assumptions about the person across from us, next to us, or in conversation with us. We challenge ourselves to be sensitive, knowing this community includes a diverse group of people from life-long followers of Jesus, to people who are just now open to the idea that God might exist. We strive to avoid offense, ask good questions, articulate and explain our responses. We don’t assume fluency in bible, spirituality, or Church language, because we believe the message of Jesus is not for Christianity, but for humanity. So, we do everything in the spirit of love and grace.
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