New Series: Stories that Change Us
Hey Jesus, tell me a story.
Clearly according to the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, Jesus was a storyteller.
Sure, he healed people, did remarkable actions of compassion and protest, and mystified his followers - but he also told wonderful, frustrating, bizarre, and life-changing stories. We call them parables. More than just stories and good yarns, these nuggets offered their hearers alternative ways of understanding God, mercy, compassion, justice, and our world.
Sometimes, Jesus said it plainly, like when he said, “Love your enemies.”
But sometimes, it seemed that Jesus needed to tell a story to get his point across, so the parable of the Good Samaritan exemplified that even our enemies or those people we think are awful can embody neighborly love in ways that those who are holy or righteous don’t get.
Jesus’ parables challenge those who hear and read them - do you get it? Do you get what kind of community Jesus is building? Do you get what it means to follow and live the way of Christ? They challenge us to go deeper, to go beyond the surface, and to try to understand what Jesus and God are up to in our world.
Starting on September 15, we are embarking on a short series to explore a few of these parables that are life-changing:
September 15 - Luke 15:1-10 - The Parable of the Lost Sheep
September 22 - Luke 16:1-13 - The Parable of the Dishonest Manager
September 29 - Luke 16:19-31 - The Rich Man and Lazarus
In addition to our series in worship, we’ll study of these parables during our Discussion Hour at 9:30 AM. Come enjoy some coffee, and ask questions as we think about the stories that change us and help us be better neighbors. I’ll be inviting a few of you to share some of your own life-changing stories that shape who you are. I especially hope we can pay attention to the various stories that our cultures give us that define us. How do Jesus’ story differ or challenge some of our cultural stories?
One of the most important stories of our church comes from Jesus’ command to Peter to “build my church”. Those words are the same command that founders of University Christian Church took to heart over 60 years to dream of and launch our community of faith. Because they pursued the story that God was prepared to do something wonderful in this community, we have been able to share the way of Jesus to so many individuals, families, youth, and neighbors in need.
Join us this fall as we continue to live that good news out in our neighborhood. And invite a friend!
— Rev. Nathan Hill