Where from here?#4. “Stories that point the way.”

Where from here?#4. “Stories that point the way.”

I had never heard of a thing called a “Devotional” before I attended the Lord’s church. Pulpit sermons in the 1970s were still well over 30 minutes long, so these less formal mini-sermons seemed short at 15 minutes long. Everybody has their favourite devotionals. One I remember well was called: “The church is like a football team.” Having duly grabbed our attention with his title, our speaker proceeded to enlist the names of the members sitting before him as players in his imaginary game. He then gave a running commentary on each of the plays made by his ‘team’—each member cooperating with the next to achieve the common goal of winning.

A man would be foolish to doubt the power of such storytelling. It works!

In Luke 15 Jesus etches into our minds the joy of finding that which is most precious to a soul. The lost sheep, coin, and son, being metaphors for all of humanity – the searcher being God.

Harder to comprehend is how Jesus presents the Shrewd Manager of Luke 16 as an example for effective evangelism. In this story the cunning executive wheels-and-deals his way into the hearts of his boss’ clients before being sacked. Jesus’ point being: “If selfish worldly people can make the most of opportunities to make temporary friends, how much more so for Christians making eternal friends?”

Jesus, the master teacher, utilized each and every Parable to test and to expose the veracity of one’s faith and commitment. All are designed to engage the mind and heart in the affairs of the Kingdom of God.

If you want to answer the question, “Where from here,” you will have to find yourself and your congregation in the good and bad characters in Jesus’ stories.

John Staiger


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