The charismatic prayer group that I attended before the pandemic would occasionally run an eight-week Life in the Spirit seminar for the parish at large. Most of the meetings’ weekly format consisted of music and singing, silent prayer, a teaching, and a personal witness talk. I always especially enjoyed the witness talks—but then, who does not enjoy a personal story to which we might be able to relate or with which we can empathize?
When my daughter was little, I would read storybooks to her almost every night. She would bring me one book after another after another until I would almost lose my voice. Most of those short stories would teach a lesson about friendship or coping or solving problems.
It is no wonder that Jesus would use parables to teach his followers. He used everyday circumstances, familiar situations, and common objects in brief stories to convey important truths. Although some disciples may have found it challenging or impossible to understand the meanings behind the narratives, those who were open and willing were gifted with ways of understanding how God thinks. Thank you, Jesus! We know we have so very much to learn and absorb about God’s ways; for we read in the prophecy of Isaiah (55:8-9),
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.