Wake Up and Smell the Roses: A Christian Perspective

Wake Up and Smell the Roses: A Christian Perspective
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Reverend Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes

Reverend Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes

The Reverend Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes is the Minister of Maple Grove United Church, and is a member of the Interfaith Councill of Halton. A chatty extrovert with a conversational preaching style, a multi-tasker who is a “multi-worrier” when it comes to caring about people’s problems, and a leader who treasures teaming with the lay people in her church, Morar says that at Maple Grove she has experienced “a deeper level of ministry than I thought possible.” Anyone who has personally received Morar’s deeply compassionate caring and wise counsel will testify to what an inspirational, healing and encouraging ministry it is.

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‘Wake up and smell the roses!’

That’s the advice one would give the prodigal son when he headed off to squander his inheritance, leaving behind his loving family, well, a loving father at any rate, and an older brother who was .. well, an older brother.  Luke 15.11-32

The prodigal son thought he would have a bit of fun.

But one day, he woke up.

I know someone who was like the prodigal son – perhaps you do too.  Someone who can take a perfectly good life and make a royal mess of it.

The prodigal son I am thinking of changed when he was in his twenties.  He repaired his relationships with his family and rebuilt his life into something fine.  I asked him, years later, ‘what happened?  What caused you to grow up?’  He told me about one night, or early one morning, when he was driving his old truck home – the vehicle he had convinced his father to give him when he left .., and he fell asleep, fast asleep.  The next thing he knew, was waking up to fountains of water spurting up through the floor boards.  He had driven over a fire hydrant, and all that pressurized water was finding every rust hole or aperture in his vehicle.

He said, ‘that was the moment I really woke up’.

For the prodigal son in the story, it was a pig sty – and the way his people felt about pigs, it must have been the worst possible place to find yourself in.  So he went home.

And what was home like?  A party!

As Paul wrote, “If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”

When Jesus told this story, he was talking about more than people making peace with their relatives and getting on with growing up.  He was talking about people finding their way back to a loving God, and he promises that this relationship, this place, … the kingdom of God is not a stuffy, solemn place, but a joyful celebration to which all are invited.

So we are called to celebrate our relationship with God. Our salvation through Jesus Christ  calls for a joyous shout, not a long face.


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