This Sunday: The Kingdom of God Is Like…

Good Morning,  

This past Sunday Roena Oesting from La Jolla California came and did a 1 hour performance on Elizabeth Fry and it was really good. This was a part of our Convergent Friends worship and we had about 25-30 people there from about 6 different meetings. The experience was so good in fact that I was bummed more people didn’t come out to see it. It was a marvelous time of ministry and community building.
Summer Soup and Bread: There will be no soup and bread this evening or next Wednesday (the 4th) but we will start up our summer series on July 11th. Jason, Jamie and John Twyman intend to continue to meet with the “older kids” through out the summer. Jason will send out more info to the email group soon.
The Kingdom of God is like…

This summer we are going to be focusing on the parables of Jesus, with the theme of “what can they teach us about the kingdom of God.” Last Sunday we talked about how there is something about being a child that helps access the kingdom in a ways not possible otherwise. If you are interested in reading my sermon on that subject you can do so on my blog. We will try to keep those qualities in mind (listening, wonder and imagination) while working through these stories. 
Two things to keep in mind about our subject:
One way I’ve heard parables described, which I like very much is that they are “stories that never happened, but stories that always happen (or at least should).” Parables are Jesus’ way of challenging the predominate tradition, teachings, and assumption of his time in story form. They are not just to teach a moral lesson, but are participatory and invitational bringing people into the story in a way that their way of thinking is changed.
The “kingdom of God” is not about an after-life, but about the now-life, the present in-breaking of God in our world and how that reign and reality changes us, the way we live in community and our society. 
With that as an introduction here is our first parable and one you know well:

“Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.” 

Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.” 


But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.””

(Luke 10:23–37 NRSV)

  • I wonder which part of this parable you like best?
  • I wonder which part you find to be the most important?
  • I wonder which character in this parable you identify with most?
  • I wonder what part is the hardest to receive or understand for you? 
Going and trying to do likewise,