What is happening in this scripture?
The lead up to this scripture is important. Jesus is talking and eating with tax collectors and sinners, the socially “undesirables,” if you will. (Lk 15:1). The Pharisees and scribes were critical of this. The parable of the lost sheep is Jesus’ response to these criticisms. Jesus highlights the importance of doing ministry with, spending time with, and getting to know the social outcasts. This seems like a hard lesson for many of us to swallow. Like the Pharisees and scribes, many of us tend to prefer talking and eating with those who make us comfortable instead of stepping out like Jesus and letting those who are on the margins know that they are truly loved by Christ and by us, regardless of who they are, where they’re from, what they’ve done, who they love, or any of the other things we tend to use to separate “us” from “them.”
What is the deal with parables?
Parables can be tough to read and understand. In short, these are the stories that Jesus tells to illustrate his point. Many of these stories are a bit cryptic. Indeed, this seems to be intentional on Jesus’ part (Lk 8:9-10). I think the important question for us is: what do you think is the purpose of using parables to teach?
Tip of the 5-Point hat:
This week, I tipped my proverbial hat several times to some amazing ministry efforts of the people of UUMC. Last Sunday, Sheryl, Drew, and the band (along with special guest and Project Transformation intern, Maria) aided with the translation of our entire 11:15 service into Spanish for our first ever bi-lingual service. God was certainly experienced and praised! A second tip of the hat to our entire PT intern team. The power went out on our block on Tuesday morning for a few hours and our amazing interns kept the students calm and kept on with the programming for the day! And last, but certainly not least, a big tip of the hat and thank you to Victoria and Julie who each provided a delicious breakfast for our interns this week, making sure that they were well fed and fueled to share God’s love with the students of PT! Have you seen something at UUMC that deserves a tip of the 5-Point hat? Let me know and I’ll include it in a future 5-Point Friday!
Father’s Day Weekend:
You may recall my enjoyment of watching PGA from the Masters back in April. In keeping with tradition, the US Open is held on Father’s Day weekend every year. This year, I’ll have the opportunity to watch some of the tournament with my Dad when he visits this weekend. I hope any and all of us who desire to spend time with, remember, talk with, or otherwise thank our fathers (or father-figures) will have the opportunity to do so this weekend!
This week, we have two ministry teams heading west! Our youth team and volunteers are heading to Alamogordo, NM for the CTCYM mission trip. They will share Christ’s love with others and experience joy, fellowship, and more than a little hard work (and probably exhaustion). And our prayer quilting team is headed to Colorado for a quilting retreat where they will build relationships, pray, and sew quilts that will be prayed over by our church and shared with others as a tangible reminder of God’s love and the church’s prayers. I hope you’ll join me in thanking these two teams and praying for them this week! (And maybe next time, you can join them too!)