Showing posts from September, 2011

Reflections on the Parable – “The Workers in the Vineyard” – Matthew 20:1-16

Read the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard here: Matthew 20:1-16 It's Not Fair! Over the course of our focus on the Parables of Jesus there have been two very important themes that have emerged: 1. God loves God’s creation – extravagantly, madly, passionately and showers upon the beloved creation this love and grace in outrageous abundance.   God’s goes to extravagant and illogical extremes in showing love, grace and forgiveness to all of God’s creation – that would be us, you and me.   And the 2 nd theme is related and comes forth from this: we are called to be in community and to reflect this crazy extravagant love and grace and forgiveness in the way we relate and treat and interact with others! This is not so easy for us and Jesus acknowledges this fact in the parables while at the same time shocking and challenging us to move beyond our inclination to be focused only on ourselves and our tendency to judge and our desire for selfish fairness.   It is this

"Forgiveness" - Reflections on the Parable of the "Unforgiving Servant" - Matthew 18:21-35

Read the Gospel Parable here: Matthew 18:21-35 Reflections on the Parable – “The Unforgiving Servant” – Matthew 18:21-35 The parables are like a large and beautiful diamond.   To focus one’s gaze on the parables is to gaze into the heart of the Kingdom of God.   Each of these parables give us a different view and help us to complete the picture of what God’s realm on earth looks like; and they help us to also see a little of who God is.   These images are often surprising, shocking and even offensive: God is like a sower who doesn’t really know how to sow; God is like an incompetent judge; God is like an employer who doesn’t know how to manage personnel.   God’s realm is a place where all of God’s people are a part of one community; where we have responsibility for each other; where the usual human cultural, racial and sexual divisions and stereotypes no longer apply.   God’s realm is a place of radical, illogical abundant grace, love and forgiveness. The parable of the Prodigal

"The Tapestry of the Kingdom II" - Reflections on the Parable of the Rich Fool - Luke 12:13-21

Read the Parable of the Rich Fool here:  Luke 12:13-21 Reflections on the Parable of the Rich Fool – Luke 12:13-21 Last week we focused on the Parable of the Friend at Midnight and saw that the parable was one that pointed to the importance of community.   It taught us that the Kingdom of God is a complex and colorful tapestry where all of God’s people are woven together and where we are all interdependent with each other.   As citizens of the Kingdom, or the Realm of God, we are linked one with another and we have responsibilities for one another.   This is not easy for us.   In our culture we celebrate independence and being self-sufficient.   But this “rugged individualism” takes a terrible toll on so many.   It leads to a lot of loneliness; it leads us to keep to ourselves; and it leads to a lot of individual greed.   And since we do not understand ourselves in relationship with a broader community many among us (including many of our political leaders) have lost