Jesus was a master storyteller: “A sower went out to sow…” “There was a man who had two sons…” “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho…” “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who gave a banquet…”
And these stories that Jesus taught are no simple tales to be confined to a children’s book; they are stories meant to reframe our perspectives, challenge our assumptions, and shift our priorities. So how are they speaking into your life this Easter season? Join us for a six-week series exploring the stories that Jesus told, mining their riches in hopes that we may live more fully into the divine truths that they reveal.
THE STORIES OF JESUS
Click sermon title for video.
April 11, 2021
The Coin in the Fish’s Mouth
Matthew 17: 22-27
We’ve all heard a good fishing tale or two, but none can compare to this one! Peter and Jesus are asked to cover their temple tax, but rather than stressing about this religious expectation Jesus proposes that Peter grab the tacklebox instead. And what happens next? Well, it’s either sheer luck … or God’s grace. Join us for a tale that reminds us of the freedom we have in the Risen Christ.
April 18, 2021
The Parable of the Sower
Matthew 13: 1 – 9
Father Robert Capon says that the parable of the sower is the touchstone of all the parables. He notes its primacy of place in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Even the gnostic Gospel of Thomas includes the parable of the sower. In Matthew, this parable is the first of a string of parables that follow one another in chapter 13. The parable of the sower sets the stage for all the parables that follow. Jesus begins the parable by saying, “Listen!” What new things might we hear if we listen?
April 25, 2021
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
Luke 10: 25 – 37
This is a familiar story most people can recite without any rehearsal. Once again, the challenge will be hearing a word that is new or fresh. But then again, maybe we don’t need a new or fresh word on this old story. Maybe we just need to put it into practice. More good Samaritans are needed in a time that is scarred by hate and fear and need. When will we stop talking about our neighbors and start being a neighbor? When was the last time you were willing to be uncomfortable to help someone be comfortable? Still, this story has some surprises that will give us a greater understanding of the love of God.
May 2, 2021
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
Matthew 18: 23 – 35
Forgiving others who have hurt us is one of the most important things we will ever do. Finding happiness and peace in our lives, or lack of it, really does depend on it. But that’s easier said than done, isn’t it? When people hurt us, we instinctively feel a desire for vengeance, and choosing to let it go does not come easily or naturally for us. Whatever we are facing, this parable has a lot to teach us about what forgiveness is, why it is so important to forgive those who hurt us, and where we find the power to forgive. Beware, this parable packs a punch that’s a shock to the system.
May 9, 2021
The Parable of the Vineyard Workers
Matthew 20: 1 – 16
The story of the vineyard workers is another shocker from Jesus about the grace of God. Does Jesus really want us to believe that God is that unfair? Even life-long Christians are shocked by the outrageous grace God has for slackers and ne’er-do-wells. When we truly recognize the lavish generosity of God’s grace, it flips everything upside down. We stop focusing on what’s ‘fair’ and begin to humbly appreciate God’s unbelievable grace, then maybe we can recognize what those all-day workers missed and live into this great story.
May 16, 2021
The Parable of the Great Banquet
Luke 14: 15 – 24
The plotline in this week’s story is simple. A certian man had planned a great banquet and invites a lot of well-to-do people to attend. But when it was time for the party to start, they were too busy to attend, or so they said. Angry and frustrated by his rude guests, he sends out invitations to those who never get invited to parties. And they come … and there’s room for more. Once again, we are reminded that the kingdom of God is for all people, not just the perfect, popular, or powerful. This story is full of good news and bad news, grace, and judgement.