I will fill in for Dr. Bruster this Sunday to wrap up our “Parables of the Realm of God” sermon series. As you probably know, Tim is with his family following the death of his brother, Mike, on July 5. Please join me in praying that God’s peace supports Tim and his loved ones during this sad and difficult time.
This week concludes our series “Parables of the Realm of God.” Parables are stories with a message, tiny gems whose teachings sparkle in new ways when viewed from different perspectives. While each story features different characters and different circumstances, each story tells us a bit more about God — what God values, what God rewards, and what God wishes from us as God’s people.
In our scripture selection this week, Jesus speaks with a group of people who became full of themselves. They divided the world into “us and them” based not on wealth, or power, or prosperity, but on holiness. Jesus spoke to a group of people who were serious about worship and about prayer. They gave faithfully to God and fasted with discipline. They clung to the Scripture and constantly strove for holiness, and they were quick to recognize how this set them apart from their community. Everything they did was about God, but somehow these practices led them even farther from God than when they started. So Jesus told them a story . . .
This parable has it all — sinners and saints, drama and humor, and a twist ending that leaves everyone scratching their heads. Best of all, buried deep in the message is a gospel of hope, a glimpse of God’s good news for all of us that can change the way we live.
We’ll turn the gem over and over again this Sunday. Join us.
Rev. Lance Marshall
Associate Pastor of Young Adult Ministries