top of page
  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

844 Parables are always written in the present tense – they refer to now!

Day 844: Friday, July 8, 2022

Parables are always written in the present tense – they refer to now!

Please note: We will meet on ZOOM this Sunday.

Parables are always written in the present tense – they refer to now!

- A reflection by Geoff Wood

St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians (quoted today) reveals how upset he was with a split among Christian believers. There were those out of the Hebrew tradition who remained attached to their Old Testament heritage – rules, dietary laws, practices like circumcision.

This drove Paul almost crazy – why would you want to remain in the “schoolyard” when it’s time to graduate into what it means to be fully adult; where maturity awaits you. (Could it be fear?) And once such a nostalgic stand was taken, it generates its own opposition: polarization!

We see such polarization happening between the inhospitable Samaritans and the disciples of Jesus – who on their part wanted to burn down their village! So what does Paul say? Let me paraphrase it.

It’s hard for me to become entangled in your “absolutes” – for the Gospel of Christ has made of me a new creation.

Or as the Gospel of John puts it: that we might all be born again. This confused old Nicodemus who wondered how we could be returned to our mother’s womb to undergo a second birth. He couldn’t understand the range of a mind like that of Christ; indeed Christ wondered how Nicodemus (being so “single-minded”) had ever become an authority on anything.

Indeed single-mindedness seems to be what’s upsetting our world to an extreme degree today. Of course Paul admits that becoming this new creation, being born again, felt like a crucifixion, a painful process when it happened, a fright.

But it also can result in a perpetual resurrection and clear skies and discoveries of who and what we really are.

Remember the conflict between the Samaritans and the disciples of Jesus, let’s anticipate the parable of the Good Samaritan by way of E. E. Cummings’s version of it – to see what it means to become a new creation.

a man who had fallen among thieves lay by the roadside on his back dressed in fifteenthrate ideas wearing a round jeer for a hat

fate per a somewhat more than less emancipated evening had in return for consciousness endowed him with a changeless grin

whereon a dozen staunch and leal citizens did graze at pause then fired by hypercivic zeal sought newer pastures or because

swaddled with a frozen brook of pinkest vomit out of eyes which noticed nobody he looked as if he did not care to rise

one hand did nothing on the vest its wideflung friend clenched weakly dirt while the mute trouserfly confessed a button solemny inert.

Brushing from whom the stiffened puke i put him all into my arms and staggered banged with terror through a million billion trillion stars

ee cummings

24 views0 comments
bottom of page