October 15, 2017
“If religion is supposed to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, argues Amy-Jill Levine, then we should think of [this] parable as doing the latter. If we read the parables and find ourselves unsurprised and unchallenged, we haven’t read them honestly or well. Jesus was no teller of cozy bedtime stores; his parables are meant to disturb us—to wake us up, shake us out of our complacency, and compel us to ask hard questions about ourselves and about God.” – Debie Thomas, Living the Word, The Christian Century, September 27, 2017
If the musicians here this morning were to lead us in singing, “I’ve got peace like a river,” we likely would do so happily. And the river we most likely would be picturing would be quiet and beautiful, gently rolling along in its banks where it belongs, flowing happily to the sea. We probably would not be imagining a renegade river, rising higher and higher, crashing against the banks until they give way and the deepening water engulfs our houses and threatens our lives. I wonder how many people running for dry land during the recent floods were singing, “We’ve got peace like a river” as they ran? That’s not the sort of peace we prefer.