A while ago, I was listening to a lecture series from Dr Timothy Keller called “Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World.” In the midst of the series, he talks a lot abot the story of the Prodigal Son, one of the parables of Jesus. His focus however, is on the older brother…his sin. I’ve been thinking a lot about this since then, and this past weekend, I came to a startling conclusion while in Chicago at the U2 concert.
I found myself this weekend pitying the poor sinners all around me, the drunk ones, the homosexuals sitting in front of us, the ones who had no idea what many of the songs were about and, because of that, the empty praises being offered by their empty little hearts and souls.
“Look! All of 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. But when this son of yours has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!”
I am the older brother. And I’m freaking pissed off about it.
And you know what else I’m sick of? Grace.
I am sick of getting off scott-free. I want to pay for my sin. I want to atone for it.
Derek Webb has a new song called “The Proverbial Gun”. Here are the words:
“Now I can buy the proverbial gun
And shoot the proverbial child
While my uncle looks me in the eye
And speaks of freedom
And my conscience goes up on trial
In the courtrooms of the mind
Where the judges all have sons
And all the lawyers are wounded
And the backs are all broke
And the bailiff is my brother
And the witness is my sister
And I’m guilty as hell
But by the afternoon I’m out
Out on the pavement walking
Wreaking of salt and blood
No hat upon my head
No shoes upon my feet
Picking your body
From my teeth
No stars above me
No stripes upon me
Like Derek, I am guilty as hell. But, I’m out…wreaking of salt and blood, and I’ll devour you again tomorrow, and their will be no punishment because of grace.