Our lives are a collection of stories. The ones we find ourselves in. The ones we watch and read and listen to. The ones we invent and create.
And what’s curious is how Jesus’ life and ministry were shaped by these same contours. His lived experience...the Hebrew Scriptures and traditions he learned...and, of course, the stories he told.
In our walk through Lent this year, we turn our attention to a particular set of tales Jesus gave his followers. Parables of lost sheep, midnight visitors, and trees that don’t grow fruit.
In the end, we come back to the words of Jesus each year to understand the Divine story and its connection to the meaning of our own. And we hope too that, whether we ‘get’ the parables or not, we begin to see them as “first and foremost God’s way of getting to us.” –Robert Farrar Capon
Ash Wednesday is the traditional beginning of Lent, the six week season which precedes Easter. For generations now, Christians have sought to deepen their connection to Christ’s death and resurrection by journeying through a season of preparation. We give something up–we create space and lack–in order to participate fully in the moment of resurrection.
On Lost Sheep
We talk about extravagant love that leaves the ninety-nine to look for the lost one, and how when it touches our hearts we want to at least try living in the way of Jesus; to love in the way that does not make sense.
Part 1: Jesus has this remarkable ability to spot the Divine everywhere. We could certainly learn a lesson from his creativity.
Part 2: Grace calls us to live toward a world we can’t quite grasp yet.
The Good Samaritan
This week we are looking at the story of the Good Samaritan and how grace invites us to transcend our categories and see ourselves in the person across from us right now.
Sunday was the parable of the Good Samaritan and one of the really intriguing elements of this story is the question that precedes it: Who is my neighbour?
The Unmerciful Servant
This week were are talking about how our experience of grace allows us to extend it to others.
The parables aren't designed to give you black and white answers, they are meant to help learn how to think theologically.
The Unhelpful Friend
Today we are looking at one more story that explores the dynamics of grace in our lives and shows what prayer is about.
There are a couple clues that push toward my reading of this parable.
This week we are looking at the mustard seeds and how Jesus challenges the assumptions of the religious establishment of what the kingdom of God is like.
I think René Girard can add a new layer to our understanding of the mustard seed parable.