Over the last several weeks I've been making some connections between familiar stories in the New Testament and some familiar themes and news from our culture. How could 50 Shades of Grey and the Lord's Prayer have anything in common? What do the growth and ambitions of ISIS reveal to us about kingdoms, and about the Kingdom of God? How could "American Sniper" and the polarization of American society speak to us about the parable of the Good Samaritan?
This Sunday we'll be reading another much-loved passage, Luke 15 with its parables about the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. In general terms, I want to continue to draw out the connection between Jesus, his understanding of his mission, the culture of his times, and the issues of our times.
Specifically, I believe these stories tell us quite a bit about the polarization evident in faith and politics in American culture. Drilling down even deeper, I believe the polarization over this week's visit of the Prime Minister of Israel has some direct connections with Luke 15.
Friends, we may think that the stories Jesus told were sweet and beautiful and all about how God loves us. But I've seen some things in our culture, in our community, and at times in our congregation. I think we might find ourselves confronted, challenged, and increasingly uncomfortable, were we to sit with Jesus and realize that he was directing his stories at us.
There will be some powerful affirmation of God's love for you this Sunday. But that won't be all. And with Daylight Savings Time, you'll have one less hour of sleep on which to process it, too!