Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pastor's Weekly Message

"I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter what has been hidden since the foundations of the world." Matthew 13:35

That is actually Matthew quoting from Psalm 78 accounting for the way Jesus taught and preached.  Jesus used parables and so we often hear them on Sunday morning.  But how do we hear them?  Maybe this is taking an easy way out here, but let me share some words that influenced me some time ago, and continue to even now.  From Frederick Buechner:
"....insofar as it was the hidden and private and ultimately inexpressible that Jesus preached about, in a sense he had no recourse but to preach in the way he did, not in the incendiary rhetoric of the prophet or the systematic abstractions of the theologian but in the language of images and metaphor, which is finally the only language you can use if you want not just to elucidate the hidden thing but to make it come alive.  What is the kingdom of God?  He does not speak of a reorganization of society as a political possibility or of the doctrine of salvation as a doctrine.  He speaks of what it is like to find a diamond ring that you thought you'd lost forever ......He tells stories.  He speaks in parables, and though we have approached these parables reverentially all these many years and have heard them expounded as grave and reverent vehicles of holy truth, I suspect that many if not all of them were originally not grave at all but were antic, comic, often more than just a little shocking.  I suspect that Jesus spoke many of his parables as a kind of sad and holy joke and that that may be a part of why he seemed reluctant to explain them because if you have to explain a joke, you might as well save your breath."   (from "Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy and Fairy Tale")
Indeed, if we keep from getting too serious, the parables of Jesus might just make us grin at the very impossibility of them.  Anybody for watching a camel try to go through the eye of a needle?
In Christ,
Pastor Randy
"God of all creation, we come to you ever ready with petitions for what we want and things we think we need.  Free us in these moments of prayer from our litany of desires and open our hearts to receive your gifts of grace and love as we consider what it means to follow your Son.  Amen."

10:00 a   Bible Study
                     6:30 p    Acts 2:42 (curious? look it up)
                     7:00 p    Adult Choir  (new members welcome, no experience needed)

Thursday      6:15 p    Executive Council Meeting
                    7:00 p    Council Meeting