I like good stories. As a kid I could get lost in the world of Narnia in C.S. Lewis’ children’s novels. I enjoyed finding out what would happen in Call of the Wild. When I was younger, my mom would read Little House on the Prairie to three boys, and we’d imagine ourselves in Papa’s Conestoga wagon or in the sod house.
I also enjoy good stories told in movies. Shawshank Redemption is probably one of my favorite movies. It’s a beautiful story of perseverance and triumph over terrible situations. Of course I’ve always enjoyed the classics too. Star Wars (the original trilogy is still my favorite), Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark and Last Crusade, Temple of Doom grossed me out, and the other new one was just weird) and the Lord of the Rings (I confess I watched the movies before I ever read the books) all drew me into fantastic stories and allowed me to imagine new places.
There’s something powerful in stories. Something that taps into our brains and allows us to dream and imagine new places and new possibilities. Maybe that’s why Jesus often did some of his best teaching using stories. He told parables. He called his followers to imagine new possibilities and new ways of living. Jesus told stories about great feasts that many turned down invitations to. Instead the party gets opened up to all the ragamuffins, vagabonds and misfits. He used intense, vivid language to call his followers to a costly discipleship. He told stories with unexpected, even controversial heroes. Jesus used the power of story to invite us to imagine a new world, with new possibilities, and another way of living.
Join us this summer as we continue to look at some of the parables Jesus told. Our emphasis on parables connects with our denomination’s focus on “Living Parables”, as we continue to tell stories of the Kingdom in the way we live our lives. As we learn about the new world Jesus talked about, may we also invite others to imagine a world where we live “for the glory of God and our neighbors’ good.”