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Fathers and sons

In an earlier article I referred to the verse in Acts 2 and the 42 “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” I highlight one part of this verse for you and I to consider.

The Rev. Dr. Theodore W. Loder was pastor at First United Methodist Church of Germantown in Philadelphia from 1962 to 2000. Pastor Loder incorporated dramatic reenactments to further understanding of the Bible.

Jesus told so many stories of characters both literally and figuratively. The characters came alive in Jesus’ teaching as they were about everyday people like living in the community. This is what makes the teaching of Jesus alive today; the characters were like real people with everyday problems.

Often Jesus would show their strength and their weakness. It is for this reason that the Apostles could teach the life of Jesus. The characters were alive then and in our time now!

Here is an example of one story. Jesus said once there was a father and with two sons. Maybe one son wanted to get off the farm and see the world.

So this son went to his father and asked, “I want my share now.”

The father, who loved the son, gave him his share now. All we know is the son went off and had a great time until the “money ran out.” At that point, the son would return to his father with his head hung down.

The other son stayed on the farm because he loved his father. He worked in the heat of the sun and in the dirt jobs cleaning out the hog barn and the chicken house. (Gosh, I hated the chicken house as a boy.)

In other words, this son was a faithful son and worked hard on the farm. When the one son came home and his father welcomed him, this son was extremely upset with jealousy!

The father was in pain the entire time. He loved both sons. Now one son was gone. I have read on Facebook of how some families cried as their children left to go on to other avenues this fall. Therefore, you know how the father must have felt.

In this story, which character would you like to play? Would it be the son who went off for a good time? Would it be the son who stayed and worked on the farm? He thought this was the way to love his father.

Or, would you want to be the father who looked down the road everyday hoping beyond hope that he would see his son coming up the road.

The Apostles used the stories that Jesus told and people came to become followers of Jesus. The Bible becomes alive as you accept a part in the story. People came to follow Jesus from the teachings of the Apostles.

When you read the Bible — maybe you should try it — you would discover many stories about the real characters from the teachings of Jesus as the Apostles told over and over.

May I suggest that you open the Bible to the Gospel of Mark, Matthew or Luke and start reading? After you have read a little, think about which character you would desire to be in the teaching. If you do that, the Bible will come alive for you as it did in the time of the Apostles teaching and thousand years since Jesus taught.

“The degree of our spiritual vigor will be in direct proportion to the time we spend in God’s Word.” I found several sources. That quote is very similar to Dallas Cowboy Coach Tom Landry’s quote: “The quality of a (man) person’s life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence.”

With a commitment to the Bible, we will find ourselves in the stories that Jesus and the Apostles taught. Pick it up and read it, it could be the greatest decision you have ever made in your life.

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