An exploration of some of Jesus more offensive parables. Borrowing from Bailey and Brandon Scott they place the common images as we would see them of mustard seed and yeast as subversive images knocking our images of God and us as “special people!”
My second service at St Stephen’s.
My focus is the Word of God, what it accomplishes, and how we as a community of faith respond and are formed by that Word.
A wee story:
On Study Leave in Thurgau, Switzerland, I preached in a number of churches, and in my hos parish I managed to accomplish the task in German, Thurgau being in the German speaking part of Switzerland.
One woman came to me afterwards thanking me and exclaimed “But you are so evangelical!” That caused me a moment of grief but I responded by asking what she meant. She responded that I preached the Gospel like I intended it to have some effect. Talking with my host later he concurred adding that it had nothing to do with my theology, but about my understanding of how theology informs our living.
This was a different take on the parable for me.
I still find Parker Palmer’s exposition on the way our society has built itself on the ideology of scarcity in the The Promise of Paradox: A Celebration of Contradictions in the Christian Life compelling.
My ministry has been expanded and I am taking on responsibility for preaching and pastoral care at St Stephen’s, Hamilton South.
Today was my first service with them and I used two texts other than the lectionary – Deut 26:1–11 & Matt 4: 12–17.
The theme was “Dislocation”, the idea coming from R McAfee Brown’s Creative Dislocation: Movements of Grace.
For me I am responding to the change, and for St Stephen’s congregation they farewelled a much loved minister, Shirley, who died in May, and now face a different future.