Since the fall, Rev. Grant Schnarr has been leading contemporary style services at The Lord's New Church. You can find out more about these services at inewchurch.org. I finally got around to going to one of these services yesterday but Grant wasn't preaching.
Rev. Michael Cowley was preaching about the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) and it was one of the best sermons I've heard in a while. It was heartfelt, totally relevant and applicable, and also doctrinally satisfying. Contemporary style services are sometimes accused of being fluffy, emotional, and without much substance but that wasn't the case with this service. Michael didn't quote piles of passages but he did reference a lot of relevant ideas from the Heavenly Doctrines that, for me, provided a strong frame for the rest of the message.
One thing that I particularly appreciated about this sermon was how he explained the other son in the parable—the "good" son who hasn't done anything wrong. So far in my life I've related more to this son than the prodigal son (we'll see if that changes over the course of my life) and so I didn't want to just hear about the meaning of the prodigal son but also the other son and Michael didn't disappoint. In fact, he argued that the punchline of the parable really is about that son, not the prodigal one. You'll have to listen to the sermon to find out what else Michael said about that son.
To listen to the sermon go to the Current Sermon Series page on inewchurch.org (it will probably eventually move to the sermon archive under the Mission of the Church series) and scroll down till you see "With Welcome Arms – The Prodigal Son – by Michael Cowley – February 14, 2010." If you have time, listen to the children's talk first and then the sermon.
Thanks - I'll be checking this one out. Good review. -Becca
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