Stories, good stories, are sticky. They don’t let go of us, and we tend to not let go of them. We carry them with us. Especially the stories Jesus tells – mind-bending parables that feel like home and invite us to participate in the kingdom of God, where each one is understood, accepted, loved, healed, and found. I think Jesus tells stories so we won’t forget about God’s reign, even when we’re making our way through a wilderness.
The phrase “kingdom of God” helps us to make sense of numerous parables and popular Bible passages. Did you know that this phrase refers more to an activity, than a location? Also, new research reveals more than we previously knew about the guests at Jesus’ banquet – people living on the margins of society, including men who were sent to collect taxes and women and girls who were prostituted.
Jesus talks more about the reign of God than about anything else. What would it really mean for God to be in charge of our lives? Why would that be good news?
This message is excerpted from “Sticky stories” by Elizabeth Hunter in the January/February 2022 Gather magazine. Today is the 20th Sunday after Pentecost. Today we commemorate Theresa of Avila, teacher, renewer of the church, 1582.
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