Over the past couple of weeks we have been listening to lots of words being said as our nation hosted its two political conventions. As part of these conventions we have seen politicians and others use powerful stories to move others to embrace their cause. I believe stories have the power to transform to open eyes to enable us to see places we have ignored or experiences we could not have had on own. They unfortunately can also be used to only confirm out limited belief systems as the pat answers we want to hear.
When we approach each story as a listen and seeker, however, they not only open our eyes to the new but also touch a place in our story to connect us to another human being. Jesus was an expert story teller, he utilized stories to challenge, open eyes and connect those feeling outside and lost to the sacred whole. Interesting in only a few instances does Jesus offer an interpretation, rather he uses the story as an opportunity for the disciples to ask questions and struggle as they seek the answer together. Often biblical stories are multifaceted they invite many ways of seeing both at the surface level and the deeper level. All however, call us into places of connection with each other and with the sacred as we ask what does it mean and how do we respond. The beauty of the story is that it is living and continuing to reveal the truth. The challenge for the preacher and the people is to not just use the story to confirm our limited view of the truth but to embrace the life of the story so that we may be transformed and renewed. So I invite you always to listen, and struggle as we hear again the stories of the good news in radical newness and allow them to live among us.