Welcome to Worship at Riverside,

Jesus tells the story of a young man who demands his inheritance early, squanders it on fast living in the far country, and upon coming home again, receives vastly different receptions from his father and older brother.  In retelling the story, pastors and Bible teachers often invite people to consider who they identify with most in the story:  the father who loves lavishly, the younger son who lived lavishly, or the elder brother who lavishes on the resentment towards both.

Truth be told, there are other characters in the story who some people might relate to more.  People who think they are more like the son’s friends in the far country who may not have a home or a father to welcome them to it. People like the neighbors who were just as likely to be upset and confused by the father’s love and mercy as they were inspired by it.  People like the servant who probably couldn’t have cared less whether the elder brother went into the party or not.  Either way, the servant knew there would be a mess for him to clean up the next day.

Hear the story with fresh ears today.  It is for all of us.  No matter who we are or where we’ve been.

Welcoming you home,

Pastor Melanie