4LC22. Joshua 5:9a, 10-12. “The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Today I have removed the reproach of Egypt from you.’” God is saying that he has removed the dishonor, disgrace or shame from the Hebrews that was theirs since they were used as work horses by the Egyptians. Now God made them a new creation, having their own land and eating the produce of that land.
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32. In this parable Jesus answers the complaint of the Pharisees and scribes that he “welcomes sinners and eats with them.” The father rejoices that his prodigal son has come “to his senses” in recognizing the disgrace of his gross sinfulness. His son has become a new creation, rejecting his old ways and seeking reconciliation with his father. The elder son, who is similar to and is as a parallel to the scribes and Pharisees, is offended that so much positive attention is being given to the scoundrel son, while he, who has been always loyal to his father, seems to be just taken for granted by his father. The father responds, “My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours.” The father is calling upon the son to live daily in the joy and delight that his father has for him. God is love. Being fully a son or daughter of God should be a joyful, life-giving daily experience.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21. Paul writes, “Whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.” To be ‘in Christ’ is to be reconciled by Jesus who no longer holds our trespasses or sins against us but unites us to the Father. Having been entrusted to deliver ‘the message of reconciliation’, Paul and his fellow missionaries encouraged everyone to recognize their sinfulness and seek to be united wholly and fully to God the Father.