Hired Hands?

We’re back home from the Bishop’s Retreat. Tuesday was another great day. We had sessions in the morning and evening and had the afternoon off (the four of us took naps, then we took the kids to the children’s pool/playground area before dinner). After Wednesday morning’s final session, we returned home.

Rev. Grace Imathiu, a very gifted storyteller and scholar, presented Bible studies in each of Tuesday’s sessions. The biggest takeaway for me, personally, was her reflection on the older brother in the “prodigal son” story. In Grace’s view, the older brother saw himself as a slave, or a hired hand, not as a son. Grace wondered why we, as God’s sons and daughters, often see ourselves as hired hands rather than as God’s children. I will need to chew on this a lot more!

We’re already looking forward to the next two Bishop’s Retreats—Mike Slaughter in 2012 and Adam Hamilton (who will be at this year’s annual conference) in 2013. Awesome!

Today’s session concluded with Holy Communion. Just before Communion, we went and got the kids out of child care so that we could experience Communion together, something we rarely get to do as a family. It was also the first time for the four of us to celebrate Holy Communion together. After we returned to our seats, Sarah used sign language to say “more.” While she was hungry and was asking for more bread dipped in grape juice, I like to think she was also asking for more of God and God’s grace!

Well, the retreat was a good experience for us, especially after the intensity of the last few months. The kids did very well, including the four sessions in child care. Ethan was unsure about the first session and Sarah was reluctant about the last one, but those were feelings were short-lived.

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