This is from earlier this summer. I didn’t play the whole story, but most of it. I’ve included it below where I played it during my message. That link will take you to the beginning of the program. The story I shared was the last one, act 20. If you’re not familiar with This American Life, it’s a great program.
I think it would be safe to say most days, that my favorite part of the bible is Jesus’s parables. I love the truth that I find, even if I don’t fully understand it, in the sheep and the goats, the good Samaritan, and of course the prodigal son. What else I like about them is that when I think I have a pretty good grip on the meaning of one, someone, a camp counselor, a friend, a stranger, somebody, will say, what about looking at it this way. And I’ll think, wow; that’s good too. And I like that it seems like Jesus didn’t like to explain away his parables. He left his listeners to wrestle with what he said. We still wrestle with them. There are still those I wrestle with because I can’t make them fit with how I understand other things.
I was running this summer, listening my ipod, and I heard a parable, a modern parable, a real one, that had me holding back the tears like a man at a sports movie. And I knew I had to share it. Like the parables of Jesus, you won’t hear the words god or Jesus mentioned. And I’m not going to explain it, much, except to say, the kingdom of heaven is like this.
That kills me every time.
This is what I love about Jesus. This is the kind of reconciliation and restoration that I believe we have available to us through Christ. The kind of reconciliation and restoration that we, as the body of Christ, the hands and feet of Christ, are called to bring to the world.
So as we share communion this morning, as we remember what Christ did for us, as we remember the kind of people Christ called us to be, let’s say thank you, and then let’s go be those people.