Parables of the Kingdom

Parables of the Kingdom

What do you suppose the following have in common: a 9-volt battery, an onion, a life vest, newspaper, copy of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, candle, bubbles, sun block, children’s video game, laxative, telephone, map, hammer, microwave popcorn, baseball bat &
glove, coffee grinder, and a garage door opener?

These were items I placed on the Communion table when I began a sermon series on the Parables of Jesus at a previous church. “Jesus’ parables were drawn from everyday life,” I explained, before inviting worshippers to pick an item, ponder and share how it might serve as a parable of the kingdom of God for today. Needless to say, it made for an interesting worship
experience!

We’ve been considering the parables of Jesus this summer at Dayspring. I have found that folks are quite interested in learning how the historical and
cultural contexts inform their meaning. Did leaven have negative connotations in that world? What would it mean to leave 99 sheep to fend for themselves? What characteristics make mustard stand out in the botanical world? Are there other parables of Jesus found outside the Bible?

My mind has been blown reviewing some of the scholarship around Jesus’ parables; I hope serious reflection on them have helped us all recognize
what a provocative figure Jesus was and the challenge he presents to our lives.

New Testament scholar Brandon Scott has served as a guide for this series. He says that in his parables, Jesus re-imagines the world. “The reimagined
world, called the kingdom of God, presents his followers with a new option for living, one that contrasts with the default world of the everyday. The new world is both terrifying and liberating.” If you’ve been in and out of town this summer, feel free to catch up on our Livestream archive page here.

I hope to see you this Sunday as we continue the adventure …

– Aug. 4 The Hidden Treasure (Matthew 13.44)
– Aug. 11 The Prodigals (Luke 15.11-32)
– Aug. 18 The Samaritan (Luke 10.30-35)
– Aug. 25 Pastor Michael’s last Sunday / Choir Celebration
– Sept. 1 The Unforgiving Slave (Matthew 18.23-34)
– Sept. 8 The Dinner Party (Luke 14.16-24)

In the meantime, here’s a little homework: “The kingdom of God is like a garage door opener that stopped functioning ….”

Grace and peace,
Pastor Jeff


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