My people, hear my teaching;
listen to the words of my mouth.
Early in my career, I came to understand some very important aspects of teaching. To get my message across, I first had to get the attention of my students. Then, I had to keep their attention by making what I had to say interesting and understandable. Finally, I had to give them reason to remember what I shared.
Perhaps this is the reason Jesus taught the same message over and over again through a variety of parables. When I doubt that I am loved, I need only to recall the parables of The Good Shepherd, The Pearl of Great Price and The Lost Coin. In each one, everything is set aside in order to pursue that which is missing. The message? Regardless of where I hide, God does whatever it takes to watch over me and to love me every minute of every day. When I doubt that I can possibly be forgiven, I need only to recall the parables of The Prodigal Son, The Unjust Judge and The Friend at Midnight. The message? Regardless of how the world responds to my guilt, God always looks beyond what I have done to embrace me and to encourage me to be begin anew.
It seems to me that Jesus’ effort was well placed, at least for me. I can’t help embracing everything Jesus said regarding God’s mercy and patience, forgiveness and love. These bits of wisdom are what make this life doable for me.
Generous God, thank you for gifting humankind with such a great teacher. Help each of us to take Jesus’ lessons to heart.
©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved