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Showing posts from August, 2009

It's Doing That Counts

Isaiah 12.1-7a
The Old Testament contains very few parables, but this is one of them and a powerful story at that. Nathan the Prophet is sent to King David with a warning, but autocratic kings are dangerous and unpredictable people. Wisely Nathan dresses his warning up as a story about someone else, and then invites David to respond to it as a dispassionate observer looking in from the outside. In other words by giving David some distance from the story, Nathan allows him to be objective about it, to make a careful and considered judgement that might otherwise be impossible.

And that's the advantage of parables for us, too. As we identify with - or recoil from - the characters in the story, each parable allows us to reflect upon our own situation from a different point of view, from the vantage point of the storyteller, and thereby to gain new insights into our situation and greater self-awareness.

Let me tell you a modern parable that illustrates the power of parables to unlock new…