Who We Are

  Who We Are  
Amazingly, Jesus' story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15: 11-32) is the most frequently illustrated Biblical parable in Western art.

By tradition, artists have chosen to represent the narrative by depicting one of the parable's two key episodes: the prodigal in penitence among swine, or the prodigal welcomed back into the father's house. From medieval times until the end of the nineteenth century, artists also found in the prodigal narrative a story ideally suited to printed cycles of four or more scenes. Through printmaker's embellishments in serial imagery, the prodigal theme encompasses a compendium of vices and virtues: extravagance and thrift, vanity and sobriety, sexual license and spiritual salvation. Depictions of the parable rarely occurred before the thirteenth century, but increased thereafter in illuminated manuscripts, Bibles, and gospel texts. The narrative also appeared in thirteenth-century sculpture and stained-glass windows, such as those at the cathedrals of  Troyes , Sens, Bourges , and  Chartres , the latter illustrating the parable in no less than twenty-seven scenes! Similarly, narratives in four or more scenes were woven into tapestries and painted on wall hangings, furniture, and other decorative objects, testifying to the parable's ubiquitous presence among the artifacts of daily life. From the time of the earliest woodcuts to the present, the prodigal's voyage of self-discovery has offered hope to every generation.   (taken from "The Prodigal Son Narratives 1480-1980", Ellen G. D'Oench, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT.)

Our desire is to be a door of hope to the “prodigals” in our community. 

This is not just a story about a delinquent son and his journey back home again.  Jesus powerfully contrasts three characters: the wayward son, the cold-hearted older brother and the loving father who reaches out with grace to both sons.

Our community is full of “prodigals” – wayward sons and daughters who for a variety of reasons have chosen to head out into the world without God.  They cast off all spiritual restraints and seek all the pleasure they can get.  Over time, like the “prodigal son,” the dreams begin to fade and reality sets in.  We find ourselves alone, sometimes in distressing situations, with no one to help.

Our churches are full of “older sons and daughters” whose spiritual hearts have grown proud and cold.  They’ve been faithful to the church, but they have replaced a joyful relationship with dutiful service.  The joy of amazing grace has been overcome by traditionalism. 

Our prayer is that God, our loving Father, will restore a door of hope to our hearts and minds through His amazing love for all His sons and daughters, “prodigals” and “older sons” alike.