[Jesus] also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed...
Great storytellers and masterful artists know how to craft a piece of art that has the power to hold our attention while, at that same time, push us off kilter just enough to leave us questioning, wondering, and eager to think and talk more. As they do this, they open us up to parts of humanity, parts of being alive, that we did not see before. They open us to fuller, richer understandings of our own lives and others.
Jesus was a great storyteller and a masterful artist. With his parables, accessible stories of real people, he pulled his audience in while also deploying an image or a detail that would have thrown them off kilter.
In the context of the time, these tales would have been shocking, confusing, confounding. But they also offered his audience, and they offer us, the opportunity to notice our own assumptions—assumptions that keep us from reaching for more expansive ways of understanding the hope and the possibilities the Spirit God plants in us and amongst us.
We have a lot to talk about, lots to explore, together. There are so many rich stories: stories from Jesus, stories of our own time that challenge us, confuse us, confound us but that, in precisely these things, offer the opportunity to see the Spirit anew.
Enter into worship this Sunday, beloved. Bring your insights, your questions, your own stories, and your God-given gifts so that together we might look for and join with the Spirit’s ever-expanding work of loving ourselves, each other, and the world.
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