“Commit to the Journey: Coming to Our Senses” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell
I hope this week is finding you steadfast on your journey of Lent. Being open to journey with Jesus and allowing the spirit to move you when necessary. This journey is not one you should do alone; I hope you know that your church and your pastors are here to support you. We hope to see you in person or online this Sunday at 11am for worship.
The other day, my friend called me in the morning, and it woke me up. I answered the phone and had a full conversation for about a minute before I fully woke up and realized what she was talking about. Luckily, she was just calling to say hi and not something deeper that needed my focused attention. I make it a habit to not answer the phone if I can’t give the person calling my undivided attention. However, it was early, and I was caught off guard. When I finally came to my senses, I apologized to my friend.
This week while reading our scripture, I was struck by the opening line as it reminded me of my phone call earlier in the week. This scripture is part of the story of the “Prodigal Son” from the book of Luke. Let’s read the whole thing together:
17 Coming to his senses at last, he said. ‘How many hired hands at my father’s house have more than enough to eat, while here I am starving! 18 I’ll quit and go back home and say, “I’ve sinned against God and against you; 19 I no longer deserve to be called one of your children. Treat me like one of your hired hands.”’ 20 With that, the younger son set off for home.
“While still a long way off, the father caught sight of the returning child and was deeply moved. The father ran out to meet him, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 The son said to him, ‘I’ve sinned against God and against you’ I no longer deserve to be called one of your children.’ 22 But his father said to one of the workers, ‘Quick! Bring out the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. 23 Take the calf we’ve been fattening and butcher it. Let’s eat and celebrate! 24 This son of mine was dead and has come back to life. He was lost and now he’s found!’ And the celebration began. (Luke 15:17-24)
There is a lot happening in this text: enlightenment, forgiveness, abundance, and family dynamics to name a few, but I want us to focus on the part where it says, “coming to his senses at last,” (the rest we can talk about on Sunday). Have you ever had an experience where you came to your senses? What or who helped you to reach this realization? Did it take time? Did it happen immediately or was it gradual? When Luke says that he came to his senses at last, it is a helpful reminder that what we need to see the truth, is a process and has been with us all along. They are his senses. They belong personally to him. And the fact that he came to them at last means that he has been working toward them – working on himself – for some time.
Friends, I don’t know about you, but I find both of these things helpful when thinking about the ways that I have fallen short in my life. The things I need to do to address my growing edges, my sins, my transgressions, basically all of the things that I want to do better in my life, what I need to do them is in me already. I just need to work on myself; Pray, seek council, have honest reflection, and hard conversations. But if I put in the work, I too will come to my senses as last. Come to my senses about what God is calling me to do and who God created me to be. And when I do that, as our scripture says, “the celebration began.”
A quick prayer for your week: Lord, point me toward my senses. Amen