Originally posted by kirksey957
Stephen , I am honored, but I would hope you will continue to drop in and cast your seeds among the soil.
Let me start by saying that I don't understand the languages and traditions as you do. However, having said that, there is a poetic and mystical quality to Jesus' stories and responses that resonants across various traditions and religions. The s ...[text shortened]... screwing around.
I hope that is a good example of making this personal and relational.
Thank you, Kirk. I have known two other people in my life who seem to have seen things as you do. One was a Lutheran pastor (about whom I wrote you). Just a couple of comments to bump this, and then, as I said, I’m taking tomorrow off.
...there is a poetic and mystical quality to Jesus' stories and responses that resonates across various traditions and religions.
Yes. And maybe the “truth” is in that resonance?
The story of the prodigal son is a good example and since we have been talking about that one, let me say that it has many layers of identification.
I think this is very true, but sometimes we think we have a parable “nailed” with a certain understanding—maybe one we were taught to accept as the only one.
But for me I tend to identify with the older brother. I am an older brother. I have also had a history of being the dutiful child growing up.
Me too. I spent most of my life trying to be dutiful—until shortly before the age of 40, when what I call “the slow catastrophe” began to unravel my life (actually before that; I just didn’t see it). The end results were not so pretty, though, and really lead to the catastrophe. All my life, trying to be “good.” In the end it all came crashing down.
I think I longed to be the younger son, who escaped all the dutifulness. My younger brother is a good man—but I recall a few years ago, he asked me if I knew what our Dad’s undergraduate degree was in. He didn’t know, but I did. I remembered a lot about our Dad’s business life and religious life and such. My brother remembered hunting and fishing and playing. My brother also broke a lot of the “rules” that I never dared to, little things growing up...
Ironically, in adulthood, my brother has ended up following more in our father’s footsteps; he is now much more “dutiful” than I am—although I am a bit adrift...
It makes me wonder now if anyone can be the older or younger brother (or sister) for all their life. If any of us dare to identify with any single character in any of the parables. You mentioned Jung in one of your posts (his views on the Job story). I read a rabbi once who said that the way to read these stories is a bit like interpreting dreams: in which I am every character and everything in the story...
I wonder if some of the parables and teachings are aimed at getting us to quit thinking that we have it all figured out—including what God is...
That's OK, but I need to address my jealousy that somebody was having a good time partying and screwing around.
Yeah. The ironic thing is, when I was accused of all that (and became something of a persona non grata
in the church, except for the pastor; I told you something of that story), none of it was true! But almost everyone believed it anyway. Suddenly, I had all those “older brothers,” and “sisters” acting the same way as the older brother in the parable. And I had always tried to behave like the older brother!
When people talk about the “rules” for “salvation” (believe right, think right, etc.), I tend to think of all this. It’s just another way of being “dutiful.” So what does the parable say about that?
See you next week.