Here are a couple of paragraphs that got cut from the communion message I posted last week. At one point I thought I was going to write about the Prodigal Son, a story that our pastor has been preaching on for the last few weeks. Early on in the writing I changed direction, which resulted in these two paragraphs being cut. I’d like to revisit this bible-times version of myself sometime. I’ve always wanted a wife who carries water on her head. (My mental image of bible-times will always be the Sunday school felt-board people and their accouterments.)
The gospels are full of stories that Jesus told in an attempt to explain what god is like, and what the kingdom of god is like, and even I think, how we are supposed to be. Some of these stories, like the one Matthew’s been preaching about, we love. They are our favorite parts of the bible. We get them. They’re the ones that if someone said, “What’s so great about Jesus?” we could answer by retelling one of these stories.
On the other hand, there are those stories that make us make that face and shrug. Sometimes I read the bible like I’m there where the action is going on, and then my mind wanders and begins to fill in the blanks. And I find myself walking into my little adobe type bible house, made of mud or something with the ceiling beams sticking out the front and back, and my bible wife, in a robe of course, with maybe a big jug of water on her head, says, “What did Jesus talk about today, hon?” And I shrug and say, “I don’t know, something about if you know you’re going to be fired, you should give away all your boss’s stuff or something.” I pause to pop a couple olives in my mouth. “It was no Prodigal Son story, I can tell you that.”