It Requires More Than Words
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It Requires More Than Words

Today I shared my favorite of Jesus’ parables with my students. The reaction was, “Oh hum.” I was literally filled with pain as I saw the lack of response to Matthew 20 where Jesus tells us about the man who paid all his workers the same no matter how long they had worked. I love that parable. It tells us so much about God. It speaks of His grace, His liberality, His unselfishness and His desire to give each of us of His love without any prejudice. Yet I could not seem to light up my “Christian” students to the deep wonders of this story.

Surely the defect was with me, the messenger. Or could it be we have developed an insatiable appetite for new stories and new material? If we have heard something before do we not bother to apply any intellectual muscle assuming we already know about this item? At first I thought it was just undergrads so in the evening I tried it again with my graduate students and got pretty much the same detached stare.

It had to be me. A story filled with such grandeur could surely not fall on ears so calloused to the Gospel that it no longer stimulates. Merely telling people that Jesus loves them doesn’t seem to do it. We need to show them. We need to be filled with God’s power because the projection of our power just doesn’t hack it. Jesus tells us to let our light shine. Obviously it requires more than words.

Written by Roger Bothwell on September 11, 2003
Spring of Life, 151 Old Farm Rd. Leominster, MA 01453