Monday, August 17, 2015

Looking Forward to August 23, 2015

For the next three weeks we will be re-hearing some well-known parables from Luke's Gospel.

The Scripture Reading this week is Luke 15:1-32

The Sermon Title is Lost and Found

Early Thoughts:  Parables are always a challenge.  And parables we have heard over and over again and been told for years are even more of a challenge.  Because when we hear them over and over we start to think we know exactly what they mean.  But Parables don't often work that way.  They don't have just one meaning, just one lesson.  And sometimes when we jump to the obvious meaning we might miss something deeper.

This week we have in fact 3 parables.  A lost coin.  A lost sheep. A lost son.  So obviously we are talking about searching right?  Well yeah.  But where are we in these stories? What do these stories tell us about how to live a citizens of the Kingdom of God?

Normally these are told as feel-good stories, showing God's devotion to God's children, showing how none will be shut out or left behind.  And that is a valid reading.  It is a reading that Luke makes explicit as he tells the story.  I am just not sure it is the only possible meaning to be found.

But where are WE in the stories?  Are we the hunter?  The hunted? The sheep safe in the fold? The older brother? The prodigal father? The servants preparing the banquet? The guests at the party?  And how is the story different from those perspectives?

I submit that we all, to a degree, at different times in our lives, play every role in these stories.  So maybe we need to explore what that means to us.  Jesus tells Parables to expand our vision of the Kingdom, to expand our understanding of how we shall live.

Are we Lost? Found? Searching? Hiding? Waiting? Pouting?

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