by Lee Hull Moses
I went for a long walk with a friend last week. We hadn’t seen each other in awhile and had lots to catch up on, so we meandered for an hour through the arboretum and the neighborhood, looping around another block when we weren’t done talking.
This morning, like many mornings, I walked to school with my six-year-old son, mostly hand in hand, stopping every once in awhile to check out something he saw along the way, avoiding the cracks in the sidewalk, talking about nothing in particular but sharing the occasional knock-knock joke.
When I visit my parents’ house, I like to go for walks with my mom, down to the river near her house, where we look over the big expanse of water before heading home, sometimes talking, sometimes just walking next to each other in comfortable quiet.
Amy-Jill Levine, the New Testament Scholar whose work on the parables of Jesus is the inspiration for this month’s worship series, reminds us that the word “parable” comes from the Greek “para,” which means to come alongside. I can’t stop thinking about this: stories that come alongside us. Like going for a walk with someone who knows you well, these stories step in pace with us and invite us in to share our lives.
Parables are full of people like you and me, trying to figure out how to live. They don’t always have a clear lesson or moral. They don’t mean any one thing, and they can mean more than one thing at a time. They aren’t fables or object lessons.
They’re an invitation to go for a walk.
Lace up your walking shoes and join us, won’t you?
Sundays in June: 9:00 for a small group Bible study conversation, 10:00 for worship.
Want to read more? Check out Dr. Levine’s book Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi.