Hi friends! We come today to the first section of parables in our reading today. In my estimation parables are easily in the top 3 things (fine, maybe 5) that people think of when they think of Jesus. Certain gospels give more weight and time to Jesus parables while others speak more of his healings and relationships but all of the gospels feature his parables to some extent. His parables are also some of the most memorable things that Jesus taught. Why do these have such lasting impact vs other lessons we've received? Today I invite you to meditate on what parables are familiar to you and why they are and later on in the lesson we'll have a video from Bible Project to share more on parables and their significance. Enjoy!
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
Why do you think Jesus spoke in parables? Who would have benefited from them?
If you were asked to share one story with a small group of people - what story would that be and why?
The parables of Jesus were really important because they connected culturally with those he was speaking to and teaching. We often say that Jesus came for the poor and the outcast and this is no more true than in his parables. His parables often feature themes of farming/agriculture, herding, fishing, and other "working class" jobs. He very rarely speaks of affluent activities or does he speak in highly educated lectures. He tells stories and refers to things that his contemporaries would understand and be able to teach as well. If Jesus were alive today among the poor and the outcast what would his parables refer to? How might that help us better connect with those Jesus would love? If Jesus were appearing to you in your homes and work what would he use as on object of God's love? How can you use what you're familiar with to evangelize God's love in a way completely unique to you? Bonus points to who has the most creative! :)
Speaking of parables and why Jesus used them, the Bible Project has much more to say on that. I encourage you to tune in for a brief video that explores some big themes!
Praying the Hymns
Our prayer for today is inspired by hymn 242 in our United Methodist Hymnal - Love Came Down at Christmas. I invite you to join in by humming, singing, reciting the words or simply closing your eyes and meditating on the music. And no ill feelings towards me for getting Christmas music stuck in your head these past two weeks - and you can't blame me for the snow we had this week! :)
This is a nontraditional version of the hymn but seems fitting for it being May haha.
1 Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, Love divine; Love was born at Christmas; star and angels gave the sign.
Emmanuel, Our God with us
Emmanuel, Our hope, our trust
2 Worship we the Godhead, Love incarnate, Love divine; worship we our Jesus, but wherewith for sacred sign? (Refrain)
3 Love shall be our token; love be yours and love be mine; love to God and all men, love for plea and gift and sign. (Refrain)