Freed to Celebrate
...but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”
- Throughout the sermon, Joe referenced the goat that the older brother brought up as a desire that blinded him to the reality at hand: his father and the return of his brother. What is a “goat” in your life? What gives you tunnel vision and keeps you from seeing that God is always with you and that He’s always working around you?
- The older son feared that he was missing out on joy and pleasure by staying at home with his father and begged for a simple goat to try to achieve it. Your “goat”—that which you are pursuing—when you have seen glimpses of it, has it satisfied your need for joy, approval, intimacy, love? How is everything that God offers us in Christ better? In another way, how are we settling for a lesser joy in focusing solely on our little desires and distractions?
- Joe said that we aren’t free to rejoice in others until we know God’s joy in us. How have you felt that inability to rejoice in your life as a member of your Community Group? How have you felt that inability to rejoice impact your life and witness around your unbelieving friends?