June 13, 2021
This Tuesday we will finish a three-week class in the School of Christian Growth, on the parables. We’re using a book by Thomas Keating, Meditations on the Parables of Jesus. [footnote 1] Keating, who died in 2018 at the age of 95, was a Trappist monk and one of the developers of Centering Prayer, based on the method of Christian contemplative prayer described in the 14th-century spiritual classic The Cloud of Unknowing.
Marjory and Mary are teaching the class, and they started off by asking us to reflect on the question, What is a parable? Here are some of the answers we came up with:
- A metaphor for how to live
- A story that turns our expectations upside-down
- A lesson that is not obvious — we have to dig for it
- It may even be subversive
Parables were a part of the Jewish Wisdom tradition before Jesus’ time, but Jesus used parables in some new and surprising ways.…