A Living Parable of God’s Graciousness


… the origins of the church are rooted in the ministry and the purpose of Jesus, his mission, … was to preach, to serve, and witness to the reign of God, … Jesus preached the reign of God mostly through parables, short and vivid stories that spoke of God’s almost incredible forgiving love and/or urgent nearness. His ministry of healings and exorcisms served the reign of God as “parables of action” that demonstrated the love and nearness of God and God’s implacable opposition to evil and human suffering. And Jesus’ life of inclusion– his free association with women and the poor, and his table fellowship with those thought to be sinners– was a witness that God’s in-breaking reign was one of new chances, new social relationships and radical equality.  Jesus’ very life, says Edward Schillebeeckx, was a parable, for in it was engaged the graciousness of the God he lived for and lived with.”   

–Stephen B. Bevans and Roger P. Schroeder, “Constants in Context: A Theology of Mission for Today”, page 14. 

I cannot speak regarding the man who did the mass killing in an Orlando night club— his motivation, his politics, his faith. But I feel a bit more able to reflect on the (few, I hope) Christian pastors and others who appeared to revel in the killing of people who were considered to be “them” as opposed to “us.”

But as Christians, politics should not take preeminence, and neither should moral judgments. The Laws of ancient Israel should not be the guide either. Christ should be our guide. What should take preeminence for a Christian is Christ. A Christian should be a living parable of God’s graciousness— in word, in service, and in association..