If you’ve been reading the parables with me, thank you. I hope you are enjoying them as much as me. I have chosen the parables I have used quite intentionally, and they are about to shift.
The previous parables tell of individuals who have missed the point. The good hearted person who with the best of intentions has immersed themselves in religious activities and even leadership and yet missed something along the way. Often, it is easier for those around us to see this in us than it is for us to see this in ourselves. We can get so busy doing stuff for God, that we can miss God. We can miss the change that God wants to bring about in us and the world can miss the change God wants to bring about through us, because what we achieve inwardly will change outward reality. These parables ask us questions such as, are we seeking God simply for the sake of seeking God or are we seeking God simply for what could be done for us?
But, the issue isn’t simply one of the individual. The church plays a role. In the previously posted parables for me at least the movement is one from where it first raises questions about the individual (the main character, or namely me) but then radiates out to the larger issues. The next series of parables do exactly the opposite, at least for me. They question the systems and structures first, then raise questions about the individual.
For me this is an exercise in re-imagining what a community of faith could be. What would a community of faith look like that had the ability to churn out people who would be convicted, choose God and hell over satan and heaven, and that had somehow found a way to keep people from using their religious activities in order to make them feel good enough about themselves that they can go on living into the systems and ways that further the brokenness of this world rather than help repair it? How do we avoid the regular pitfalls that can commonly come with church as usual?
I don’t think there is a magic bullet answer, but rather a process to work through. I hope that these parables are helping you work through a process as they are doing for me. I hope that you have enjoyed the ones thus far and that you will enjoy the ones yet to come.