Those with Ears to Hear
One of Jesus’ favorite ways to teach was through parables—short, fictional stories used to make people think. The thing that makes parables so enduring is that they can never be fully figured out. They seem to defy explanation. The same person can hear the same parable many times in a lifetime and come up with a different meaning each time. And each one of those different meanings can be correct. Parables have the power to help us make meaning across the broad range of our experience. That’s part of the reason Jesus so frequently says, “Those with ears to hear had better listen,” after he speaks a parable. They are meant to be wrestled with. They are meant to be heard new each time, to be interpreted fresh in each situation.
The gospel writers were sometimes uncomfortable with the ambiguity created by Jesus’ parables. They wanted to settle in on established, orthodox meanings for Jesus’ sayings, so they inserted explanations after the parable so people wouldn’t be quite so confused. We just need to be careful not to forget that parables never have just one meaning. Even if we know one way to interpret Jesus’ words, we still need to listen again and again with ears to hear what the Spirit is guiding us to learn today, in this time, in this place. This month, as we read several of the parables of Jesus in worship, I encourage you to listen with ears to hear. Perhaps these words, that you may have heard many times before, will say something new to you, will reach you in just the way that God needs to reach you, in this place, at this moment.
++ Church Yard Sale will be on Saturday, August 9th. Be thinking about any items around your home, attic, garage or basement that you would like to pass on. No adult clothes please.
++ UMCOR Health Kits: items still needed are hand towels (not kitchen), large combs, nail files (metal), fingernail clippers, and money donations to help with shipping.
++ This is the last Sunday to get your donations to Martha Hoskins for the American Cancer Society, in time for Relay For Life.
++ All women are welcome to the Women of the ELCA Bible study, meeting July 22nd at 2pm.
++ Women’s Spirituality meets Sat, July 12th at 9am in the Fellowship Hall. All women are welcome.
++ The construction trailer for FISH is here! Please keep an eye out for future news concerning parking and other updates!