The fourth in a series of 6 sermons
‘God in Christ’s death on the cross for us, has shown us incredible mercy… In view of this mercy how then should we live?’
Readings reproduced on this page:
The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1996, 1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan
Psalm 103:1–17 (NIV84)
1Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—
3who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
4who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
5who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
7He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
8The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
9He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
11For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
12as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
15As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
17But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—
Luke 15:11–32 (NIV84)
11Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons.
12The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.
14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.
15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.
16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!
18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’
20So he got up and went to his father. “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.
21“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22“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.
23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.
24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.
26So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.
27‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.
29But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.
30But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31“ ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.
32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ ”