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Saturday, 17 November 2018

Luke 18:1-8 Not Giving Up

Some of the saddest and hardest things I’ve seen in ministry is people struggling with their faith during hard times. My mother struggled with her faith after my sister died because her grief was so deep. A gentleman in a former church lost his faith after his wife left him; he turned to other women and to working hard to fill his life with good whiskey, fast cars and travelling to protect himself from getting hurt again. Life isn’t always fair.
Jesus tells his followers a parable about a widow who finds out that life is often unfair. But before Jesus tells this parable, he talks about the coming of the kingdom of God, warning that it’s going to come suddenly, so be ready. When asked where this is going to happen, Jesus answers, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.” Where you see things happening that look like God’s kingdom might be breaking into this world, take a look, it might be the Son of Man coming.
Jesus now moves into the story on prayer, about keeping on praying and not giving up, but with echoes of God’s kingdom rattling around in our head. If we don’t keep the idea of God’s kingdom in mind as we hear Jesus’ parable, this parable gets interpreted as, “keep pestering God long enough and he will give you what you’re asking for.” Jesus connects the widow’s persistence to how prayer and faith are tied to a deep trust in God. Jesus is showing his listeners how perseverance in the faith works in times of injustice and hostility. Jesus tells us the story of a widow who goes to a judge looking for justice. Justice is slow in coming, but she keeps showing up. Socially, she’s in a vulnerable situation, having no husband, no one to defend or stand up for her. She’s poor, unable to give a bribe to the judge to get justice. Her only option, other then giving up, is to keep showing up and keep believing in justice.
The judge doesn’t really care about justice, he cares about himself and an easy life. This judge doesn’t care about God, or worry about what God will do to him if he doesn’t give the widow justice, he certainly doesn’t fear God, a God who cares deeply for justice. The Old Testament shows us who God is and what he desires from us: Psalm 88:1,Lord, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you.” Isaiah 1:17, Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” Deuteronomy 27:19, Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow.
The judge ends up doing what’s right and just, not because God demands it, but because he’s afraid of what the widow might do if she doesn’t get justice, “For some time he refused. But finally, he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” It’s the judge’s concern for his own safety, Jesus is using a boxing image here to describe why the judge is afraid, that causes the judge to act justly, not because there are rules against injustice, not because God might curse him, but because he cares about himself. He’s afraid the widow is going to attack him if he doesn’t give her what she’s asking for. When you complain about people in the church or your community who don’t follow God’s way; it’s probably because they don’t see how it benefits them. Most of us operate out of a sense of “what’s in it for me.” Could you tell the judge how doing justice benefits him, why having faith in God will help him have a better life, could you explain how a faithful life will benefit him? It’s important for us to know the answers to these questions beside these questions come up again and again from our kids and grandkids, from our neighbours, co-workers and others.
Life isn’t always fair, there will be times of hostility and injustice, when people will be against you, especially if you’re open about following Jesus. How we react during those times is important because it shows who we place our faith in. Do we react out of fear by striking back or running away? Do we get frustrated and take it out on the people around us, the people closest to us? Do we give up and stop caring: do we give up on God, believing that God won’t or can’t do anything to deal with the hostility or injustice? Being committed followers of Jesus will lead to more experiences of injustice as our society is embracing a new morality based on feelings and individual rights. Saying no to this new morality is likely to put you outside the circles of power and influence, taking away the privileges and rights you used to have, or at least think you have. Standing strong in the faith, in Jesus and his call on our lives and hearts, loving even when we’re not loved, turning the other cheek, standing up for what Jesus teaches and who he calls us to be as his followers is going to get more difficult.
The judge ends up doing justice, but he has no faith. It makes me wonder, can there be true justice without faith, can you have faith without a concern for justice? The widow’s persistence comes out of her faith that justice will happen if she’s persistent. Jesus calls us to listen to what the judge says, “because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me.” Jesus then goes on to compare God to the unjust judge, “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.”
God is a God of justice, this is why Jesus came to earth from heaven, why he left the beauty and wonder of heaven where there is no injustice or hostility, no suffering, a place where there is no doubt or fear. Jesus came to bear God’s anger at our sin, at the injustice that is so common because of sin, becoming fully human while remaining completely God so that we are made right with God. Jesus’ sacrifice changes our hearts and souls and we can experience God’s forgiveness, grace and love, and have eternal life through the cross. Justice demanded that the punishment of death that God warned Adam about for disobedience, is carried out, but in God’s grace, knowing that even our death does not make things right again, that we need more to be made right with God again, Jesus came to carry all our sin and to restore us so that we might be witnesses of God’s great grace. Faith gets connected to justice in that we are called to have faith in God kingdom there is justice, forgiveness and reconciliation and we are called to be people who fight for justice for those who need justice but cannot find it as a glimpse of God’s kingdom.
Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we can be confident in God’s justice. This parable is not about pestering God until he gives you what you want, it’s about standing firm in the faith, faith in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, no matter what situation you’re in because God is justice and filled with compassion for his people. It’s about trusting in Jesus in the hard times, standing firm in Jesus’ Way in spite of circumstances, confident in Jesus’ return and committed to bringing in God’s kingdom in small ways by fighting for justice for everyone, not just the rich, powerful and connected. We’ve been given the Holy Spirit to help us trust God and to shape our lives, hearts and church in Jesus’ way.
How do you stand strong and firm in the faith in hard times? In Philippians 4, Paul tells us to, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Back to my mother, she found strength in listening every day for a year to 100 Huntley Street, a Christian TV station where she heard over and over again that Jesus loves us, Jesus will never abandon us, especially in our dark time. She filled her mind and heart with God and Jesus and came through trusting God. Bring everything to God in prayer with confidence, standing strong in your faith in him, knowing you are his beloved children and he will bring justice through Jesus.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Luke 16:19-31 In the Fire

This parable of Jesus is a parable of extremes, extremes that Jesus sees around him. This parable’s a sharp jab at some of the Pharisees, a loud call to hear, to repent and believe and return to God’s way of justice, righteousness and community. Just because God has blessed you with so much, this doesn’t mean he’s happy with how we’re living with it. Are we seeking God’s pleasure, or are we focused on the stuff he’s given us? Have we given up on pleasing him because we’re happy with where we’re at in life? This parable reminds us that what we do matters, it matters a lot!
Just before this parable is a reminder of the importance of God’s Word for our lives. How we live reveals our hearts and what we really believe. Here Jesus tells us about an extremely rich man, dressed in purple and fine linen, signs of great wealth and privilege. He has all the good things in life, living in the lap of luxury. On the outside, it looks like God loves him because he’s so blessed. But Jesus doesn’t give him a name, is Jesus suggesting that his listeners insert their own names into the story?
Then there’s the beggar Lazarus, perhaps named after Jesus’ friend. Lazarus is brought to the rich man’s gate; the sense of the word is that he’s dumped there. Likely Lazarus is a cripple, and if so, this means that God’s unhappy with him and punishing him for his sin. Lazarus lies there by the gate, hoping to eat whatever falls from the rich man’s table. Often people would eat in their courtyards under a cover. Their property would be surrounded by a low wall and people walking by could join in the conversations and see who was entertaining who. The food was often served on bread platters and discarded under the tables where dogs would come and eat the scraps. These are not pet dogs. Now these dogs also gather around Lazarus and lick his sores.
You wonder how the rich man could not see Lazarus and give him at least the scraps before the dogs got them, but it’s easy to not see the poor and hungry and walk right by them. In Montreal, we took our youth downtown once a month to feed the homeless. The first few times the teens were frustrated because they had a hard time giving away the lunches and recognizing who was homeless and who was not. A number of times they offered lunches to people who told them, “I’m not homeless, leave me alone.” When we first began offering lunches, they would walk right by a homeless person and not even see them, instead looking right over them as they walked by. But over time, they began to develop an eye to see the homeless, recognize them, and because part of offering a lunch was also sharing their name and asking for their name, they began to hear the stories of how these people ended up on the streets and the teens’ compassion grew stronger. We have a growing number of homeless people, a sizable number of poor people in our own community, are you able to see them, what’s your compassion level when you see them?
Then comes the great reversal. Both the rich man and Lazarus die. Lazarus is carried to Abraham’s side by angels. On earth he’s not important enough to be buried, but in heaven he’s treated as a dearly loved child of God. The rich man is buried and given all the honour and glory through the rituals and religious services. The rich man ends up in Hades though, in torment; a completely unexpected twist in the story to Jesus’ listeners. Now the rich man’s able to look up into heaven and he sees Abraham far away, with Lazarus at his side. The veil between Hades and Paradise is thin and yet deep.
Yet some things stay the same. The rich man still feels he’s entitled to special treatment. He asks Abraham, “Have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.” Strange how he knows Lazarus’ name. He recognizes him as the beggar at his gate, but the rich man simply doesn’t get it, he’s still treating Lazarus as someone lower than himself. Lazarus is only a servant to do his bidding. He’s asking Abraham and Lazarus to show him pity, something he never showed to anyone else while he was alive. Even though the rich man is in Hades, he still considers himself part of God’s people even though he couldn’t be bothered to follow God’s way as revealed in the Law and the Prophets; God’s call to be compassionate and generous to the poor, the widows, the orphans and the foreigners. Like many Christians today, he believes that as long as he does the religious things, shows up at temple and gives his tithe or offering, that God is fine with him. But faith is both head and heart; it has to change your life and how you live with others. God’s love in Jesus changes hearts.
Here’s a few warnings and calls to mercy from the Prophets. Amos 5, “You levy a straw tax on the poor and impose a tax on their grain. Therefore, though you have built stone mansions, you will not live in them; though you have planted lush vineyards, you will not drink their wine. For I know how many are your offenses and how great your sins. There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts.” and “Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.” and Micah, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” God’s way is a way of mercy, compassion, generosity and humility, all things the rich man ignored.
Abraham responds to the rich man, Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.” Jesus isn’t saying that everyone who has wealth and good things in this life is going to end up in torment, remember that we read this parable in connection with the others just before and after this one as Luke has recorded them. This is about being rich and having no compassion, no generosity, no concern for those who are suffering, hurt or oppressed, no sense of responsibility to others, failing to follow God’s call to mercy and responsibility. While the rich man had all the good things in life, he walked right by Lazarus everyday and did nothing to help him.
The rich man doesn’t get it, he still believes his family deserves special attention from Abraham. He asks Abraham, “Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so they will not also come to this place of torment.” The rich man’s brothers seem to have his same heart and lack of compassion. Abraham gives him an answer that we need to pay attention to today, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them, if they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” This happens when Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead and all that did was spur the Pharisees to work even harder at getting rid of Jesus.
Jesus came because our hearts are hard. Only Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross can wash our hearts and souls clean, only his Spirit can soften our hearts so that we can respond to him and allow God’s Word to shape our lives, hearts and souls. Jesus calls us to live out what he has taught us, he summarizes God’s compassion and hearts in Matthew 25, Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’” Doing these things doesn’t save us, living like this comes out of gratitude for Jesus’ sacrifice and God’s grace as we join Jesus’ mission to reveal more of God’s kingdom here on earth, and so others can be won over for Jesus. Following Jesus is about putting our faith in action.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Luke 16:1-15 The Ways of the World

Does it sound in this parable like Jesus is actually praising the dishonest manager for being dishonest? This has always been one of those parables that has left me scratching my head wondering what Jesus is getting at. I don’t think I’m in the minority when I say that sometimes when a bible passage doesn’t quite make sense to me, I just read past it. That’s what I’ve often done with this parable. Yet there is always a lot to learn when you slow down and really listen, not just to the passage you’re not clear on, but listening to the verse around it and the book of the bible it’s found in. it’s amazing how often something that was kind of confusing can suddenly make sense. That’s what’s happened to me over the past 3 weeks I’ve been reflecting on this parable.
The dishonest manager is a smart man, though not as smart as he probably thinks he is since he got caught by his master wasting his possessions. Yet he is smart enough to go to the people who owe his master a fortune and lower their debts by a lot. He’s hoping to score brownie points with these people, hoping that when he gets thrown out of his job that one of them will take him in, even though he’s lost his job and a lot of his status by getting fired. The dishonest manager is trying to make himself a hero, a benefactor to the people who owe his master so much money, so that they will feel obligated, or a sense of friendship with him and will help him out. After-all, in most places money talks!
This parable comes after the parable of the lost son who wasted his father’s money and thought money would solve all his problems and build strong relationships. His friends didn’t stay around once his social status and money was gone, they were only friends with his money, fickle friends at best. You need to be careful about friends who like you only because of your money and your ability to make their life easier and more fun with it, not wise to build your circle of friends by buying them.
So, if this parable isn’t really about being smart in the way of the world, then what is Jesus getting at here? Part of the answer is found in verse 13, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the others. You cannot serve both God and money.” At one level, this parable is about loyalty and devotion to who you identify as your master; is it God or money and what money brings you in this world.
Part of the answer is also found in verse 10 & 11, Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” You hear here an echo to another of Jesus’ parables where he tells the story of a master going away and entrusting 3 of his servants with different amounts of his wealth to take care of while he is away. 2 of the servants work hard and through using and investing the wealth, they are able to increase it, while the third servant buries it so he won’t lose it, operating out of fear rather than passion for his master. His master’s desire and trust are not a high priority with him, simply living a trouble and effort free life is good enough for him.
When you take these two things together, Jesus is calling us to live a God focused life, to be as wise in the ways of God as the people of the world are wise in the ways of the world. Jesus is straight up calling out those who are trying to have things both ways, enjoying investing in the world around us and embracing its values and benefits while trying to be completely loyal to Jesus and God, because the values and ways of each master too often are at odds against each other. You only need to listen to the news to get an understanding of this struggle. Our society is willing to invest in the poor and vulnerable as long as taxes don’t go up and you keep these people out of sight while Jesus is constantly calling us to be hospitable to the poor and vulnerable, inviting them into our lives and homes, sacrificing our money to help them. Just listen to the Sermon on the Mount. Hear how Jesus praises the poor widow in Mark 12, who puts her only 2 copper coins into the temple charity box to help others even worse of than herself. Her offering shows the state of her soul, “Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
You hear the fighting going on over abortion and LGBTQ rights, we close our eyes to the violence and drug problems in our community and we forget this is about people created in the image of God. We’ll never change the hearts and values of people by shouting at them, we’re called to build real respect filled relationships with all people, including those who identify themselves differently gender wise, ethnically, or faith wise. When we build genuine relationships, then we’re able to speak Jesus into their lives and help the Holy Spirit to settle into their hearts as they experience true love and acceptance, even if we say that we disagree with some of the choices that they may make, being humble enough to confess that we also make choices that displease Jesus. but this should not break the relationship or stop us from having deep meaningful conversations about what giving our lives over to Jesus really looks like in a world that insists on the freedom to define what is right and wrong morally based entirely on our feeling, which are always subject to change.
It comes down to who we really belong to and what are we going to allow to shape who we are as people. Do you get your identity from Jesus and being created in the image of God, or do you accept the world’s wisdom in telling us that our identity lies in our gender, our job, our bank account, or whatever the cause of the day is? Do you believe that you are not your own, but that you belong, body and soul, in life and in death to our faithful saviour Jesus Christ? We say the words, but do they truly shape who you are, what your values are, how you live your life? In the early church, being a disciple of Jesus meant that you followed the Way, the way Jesus lived, which helps us understand why Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” in John 14. It’s about imitating Jesus, following his teaching, and making Jesus the center of our lives, accepting Jesus’ way rather than the way of the world and its values and goals. Following Jesus is not just believing in Jesus, it’s about living in the way he teaches and shows us.
Jesus came to earth to lead us back to God and the way of God. He did this through modeling in his life the way of God, including accepting that God’s way is about justice, righteousness, wholeness, forgiveness and grace and it led Jesus to the cross where he took our punishment for our sin on himself because Jesus knows we’re unable to do anything to make ourselves acceptable to God. Jesus is our perfect substitute, addressing God’s justice and holiness through grace and forgiveness. Jesus now invites us to follow him, accepting him as our lord and saviour, and he offers forgiveness and eternal life with himself. We have a new mission in life; showing in our lives that we are thankful to God and taking on his call to share the gospel with all so that they too may find their identity in Jesus, accept him as their lord and saviour and find eternal life and forgiveness of their sins.
This parable is not about being wise in the ways of the world, but about being wise in the ways of God. You become wise in the ways of God by regularly listening to his Word, practicing the teachings of Jesus in our lives so they become second nature to us, talking with God regularly and slowing down regularly to listen to him. It’s about developing a servant’s heart by putting God and others first. Remember that what the world calls valuable is only for a short time, what Jesus calls valuable is for eternity.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Luke 15:11-32 A Father’s Joy

Have you ever done something you wish you could take back, something you need to ask forgiveness for but thought that maybe it couldn’t be forgiven? Listen to a story of a man looking back at just such a time.
When my son became a man, I told him our family story. Son, I’m glad we’ve found time for just the two of us. You’ve asked me a number of times why your uncle and I don’t get along and why your grandfather gave him everything when he died and we got nothing. Today it’s your Bar Mitzvah, meaning you’re old enough to hear how much your grandfather loves us and yet how even his love for all of us can’t seem to help your uncle and I get along.
My son asked, Why don’t you and uncle get along, dad?”
It all started when I was just a little older than you are right now, about 16. I had celebrated my Bar Mitzvah, meaning I was considered a man now. I thought because I was a man now that I shouldn’t be treated like a child, being told what to do and how to live by my father. I was old enough to make my own decisions and I knew they would be better than my father’s decisions. I saw how dad ran the farm and how he would give money to people when they were having a hard time, even though he knew that they would never pay him back. Dad showed practical love to everyone, especially to people he often didn’t even know. I believed that dad was just giving away money that belonged to me. The people should work harder for their money, it’s their fault that they’re poor. Either they’re lazy or they’ve sinned so bad that God must be punishing them by making them poor. It’s not my fault, but it is my money!
It finally got to me one day. I’ll never forget that day. I wish I could take it back. Your grandfather had just helped out another family who had been robbed. He took them in, fed them, and when they left the next morning, he gave them a pouch of coins to help them on their way. He didn’t even ask the man to work around the farm, and it was harvest time, a really busy time. Grandfather just gave them money, blessed them and sent them on their way. I stomped up to your grandfather; I had had enough and I demanded my share of the farm, my inheritance, before he gave any more of it away. I was telling him I wished he was dead! I still can’t believe how selfish and mean I was as a young man; how greedy I was. This is why I’m telling you this story, because I want you to be a better person than me
I never expected my father to give me my inheritance, I thought he would beat me instead and I deserved that, but instead, a week later my father handed me a bag of coins. He had sold part of his land, a third of his flocks, and had money at home; he put it all together and gave it to me. I was rich, I could do whatever I wanted now! I knew I needed to leave home because I didn’t think your grandfather let me keep the money, so I packed up my stuff and left the next morning. I didn’t trust my father.
My son jumped in, I understand why grandpa didn’t give you anything what he died dad. But when you left, didn’t you think that you’d miss grandpa and uncle, wouldn’t you get lonely leaving home?”
You’re asking wise questions son. I thought with all my money, it would be no problem finding new friends, and you know what, when I got to a new town far away, I found lots of friends when they saw I was rich. Life was good, I could do whatever I wanted and nobody told me what to do. There were lots of pretty girls and parties. Life was good. I hadn’t learned yet the difference between short-term happy and long-term joy. Wine, women and song are often short-term happy; family and deep relationships are long-term happy. After a couple of years, as rich as I was, my money began running out and a severe famine happened. As I stopped spending my money on parties and wine, my friends disappeared, and finally, I ran out of money. Then I was lonely, everyone left me. They loved my money, not me. I was in a foreign country and people didn’t care about me. The only work I could find was for a pig farmer.
My son reminded me, But dad, we’re not supposed to touch pigs because that would make you unclean in God’s eyes, and everyone who touched you would also become unclean in God’s eyes.”
You’re right son, but when you’re hungry and your stomach aches all the time, you become desperate and willing to do almost anything to get a little food in your stomach. The farmer gave me nothing to eat, and I was so hungry I was even willing to eat the pig’s food. I was so stubborn and angry at my father though. It was only when I thought I was going to die from hunger that I began to think about home again. I remembered that even the servants back home had food every day. They had clean clothes and family and friends close so they weren’t lonely. I wondered if your grandfather would take me back as a servant. Anything was better than this, so I left one night began the journey home.
As I walked home, looking for scraps of food, begging from other travellers, I planned what I would say to your grandfather to get him to take me back. I will never forget what I came up with, “Father, I’ve sinned against heaven and against you. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.” By hating your grandfather and treating him so terribly, I’d sinned against God, showing God that in my heart I really didn’t care about God, in fact I hated him too. But I still prayed to God to make my father’s heart soft enough to take me in as a servant and I asked for forgiveness. The closer to home I got, the more nervous and afraid I got. Was your grandfather going to beat me, would he throw me off his land, he could have me killed for what I did to him.
My son stopped me, But dad, you know how much grandpa loves you, he would never hurt you! He always wanted what was best for you.”
I know that now son, but I didn’t then. Satan has a way of making us doubt our father’s love, he loves to see families broken up. As I got closer to our village and home, I walked slower and slower with my head down. When I came to the corner of the road where the trees are, suddenly I heard someone shout out my name and there was your grandfather running as fast as he could towards me. I could see the tears running down his cheeks as he called out, “My son, you’re home again!” Before I got a chance to say anything he hugged me even though I was filthy and still smelled like pigs. He shouted for the servants to bring clean clothes and even a family ring for me. He forgave me, he had been patiently waiting for me to come home the entire time, he never stopped loving me even though I had wished him dead. He forgave me even though I had been so evil to him and had wasted everything he’d given me. I had abandoned him, but he never abandoned me, he patiently waited, knowing his love would bring me home again.
My son asked me then,Wasn’t uncle happy to see you too, why does he always look at you as if he hates you?”
Your uncle was just as greedy and selfish as I was, he just showed it differently. He was angry when I came home and your grandfather forgave me so quickly. He thought I would take part of his inheritance away from him, he though your grandfather loved me more than him. Jealousy has a way of breaking up even really close relationships, even though your grandfather loves you uncle just as much as he loves me. Your grandfather never let the things we did make his love for us any less. You can always trust in his love and I pray that one day his love will bring your uncle and I back together again as we learn to forgive and love as he did.  
Jesus came to earth to call us back home again, to go to the cross to take the punishment for our sins and reconcile the relationship between us and our father. We’re unable to make things right on our own, but our father loves us so much he gave up his own son so that whoever believes in him will not perish but be welcomed home by the father and have eternal life with the father and the son.