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Full to the Brim: Prodigal Grace by Dr. Paula Williams

Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32, NRSV


This is the portrayal of God, whose goodness, love, forgiveness, care, joy and compassion have no limits at all. Jesus presents God’s generosity by using all the imagery that his culture provides, while constantly transforming it.

— Henri Nouwen, , The Return of the Prodigal Son

  • Unlike shame, guilt is a positive emotion
  • Guilt is when you think you have done something wrong, but shame is when you think you are bad
  • As human species, we are more interested in belonging, more than about the truth
  • We might come to our senses, and truth might set us free, but being shunned from our belonging might make us miserable
  • We need to acknowledge the abiding shadow side we all have
  • The parable is not really about the prodigal son, nor about the older son, but about the love of the Father for both his sons


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