We begin a new worship series this week. We are inviting our community to Give Up Certainty for Lent
as we root ourselves in the parables of Jesus.
What is a parable? Exact definitions vary from “stories of life with religious or spiritual lessons” to “metaphors or similes that take narrative form.” We will be operating on an understanding of parables as “thin places” where the usual boundaries between heaven and earth, holy and ordinary, known and mysterious, come together. Those are places of uncertainty. Where what we “know” comes into question. “Jesus spoke in strange, bizarre, disturbing ways. He balked at almost no comparison, however irreverent or unrefined. Apparently, he found nothing odd about holding up, as a mirror to God’s ways, a mixed bag of questionable characters: an unjust judge, a savage king, a tipsy slave owner, an unfair employer, and even a man who gave help only to bona-fide pests.”…Jesus was practically an ambulatory parable in and of himself… (from Kingdom, Grace, Judgment. Paradox, Outrage, and Vindication in the Parables of Jesus by Robert Farrar Capon, page 1).
The parables of Jesus take everyday experiences from the time of Jesus and turn them upside down. By showing us ordinary elements and experiences, parables provide a transparency to see the whole of our live and the holy in our lives in a new way (John Indermark, Parables and Passion, Jesus’ stories for the days of Lent, page 11).
March 5 (Ash Wednesday) 7:00 a.m.
April 6 Agape (David Scherer)
April 20 (Celebrate Easter) at 6:30 am Rose Garden McKinley Park & 10:30 am Sanctuary
Parables reside in the “gray area.” Parables teach us about what it is to live now. Parables encourage us to recognize the Kingdom of God as it is now, today and in our midst. In Luke 17.21 you read “The kingdom of God is among you”. Jesus’ parables intend to transform how we live now. The parables invite us to consider using common images and experiences of life now to live into God’s unfolding mystery.
Take time to read the two short parables from Matthew
for this week.
“A mustard seed, or any seed for that matter, must end its career as a seed before something can come of it. It must, that is, go all the way into death….About the yeast…While yeast cannot be said to die when it is mixed into dough, it can legitimately be said to get lost in the mixture.” Yeast is hidden in the dough in order for the dough to rise and become bread. Neither the yeast nor the dough are the same from beginning to end.
Where are you growing in faith right now, today? Spend time considering ways and persons who have, in hidden ways, helped you to become who you are today. Wonder about the way in which God has been preparing you for opportunities and challenges that feel like you are ready to take on now. Think about how you believe God is leading you into becoming a follower of Jesus.