I find it difficult to describe the weighty responsibility that has been given me to teach others the basics of our faith. I am both awe-inspired and humbled.
I think my favorite part of yesterday’s Confirmation class was talking about the Bible. I gave an all too brief description of the Old Testament. Essentially, I boiled down the entirety of the Old Testament into three stories: 1. Creation, 2. Exile, and 3. Renewal. These stories are the foundation for the entire canon of scripture; without a sense of what they mean, I believe we’re hopelessly lost in trying to read the Bible.
In speaking of the New Testament, I said that everything is about parables. Remember, a parable is simply a story that we think we know the ending to, but God twists things on their head so there is an unexpected – but beautiful – result. For example, sons who tell their fathers they are as good as dead and demand their inheritance shouldn’t be welcomed back home, but in God’s Kingdom they are.
In the same way, first century messiahs who were inciting rebellion against the Roman Empire were crucified all the time, but nobody expected them to rise again from the dead. In a sense, the whole story arc of Jesus’ birth, ministry, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension is one continuous parable.
So I asked the confirmands: what are the parables in your life? When were you expecting one thing to happen, but then God turned everything on its head?