Friday, March 7, 2008

The Five Parables Meme

Anne has tagged me for my very first meme! The rules are simple:

1. Name your five favorite parables.
2. Tag one blogger per parable.
3. It would be nice if you link back to this post.

This has given me a wonderful opportunity to think about and read scripture these past few days. I browsed through the New Testament to make sure I didn't miss any contenders, although a few parables did come to mind quickly.

As I look over my favorites, I see that many of them are listed not because they make me feel good, but because they reach out and grab me. God is talking to me and teaching me and showing me where I need improvement. So:

1. The Laborers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16): The owner of the vineyard hires workers throughout the day, then ends up giving them all the same wage. Those who worked longer protest that it's not fair, and the owner responds, "My friend, I do you no injustice...I intend to give this man who was hired last the same pay as you. I am free to do as I please with my money, am I not? Or are you envious because I am generous?" I've grown up a lot, but there was a time when I would have cared more about "fairness" than the beauty of God's generosity.

2. Parable(s) on Prayer (Luke 11:5-13): If you knock on the door long enough, your friend will get up in the night because of your persistence. The second part is another reminder of God's love and care for us: "What father among you will give his son a snake if he asks for a fish, or hand him a scorpion if he asks for an egg? If you, with all your sins, know how to give your children good things, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him."

3. The Weeds (Matthew 13:24-30): A man sowed good seed, but his enemy sowed weeds among the wheat. They needed to grow up together, not separated until the harvest. This reminds me of my children (and me) growing up in this fallen world. There are weeds that can damage them. They need to be strong to recognize and resist.

4. Dutiful Servants (Luke 17:7-10): This parable is a reminder of the need for humility. If I think I'm doing well, I need to remember that I'm really just doing my duty! And considering He gave his life for me, He's really not asking that much, is He?

"If one of you had a servant plowing or herding sheep and he came in from the fields, would you say to him, 'Come and sit down at table'? Would you not rather say, 'Prepare my supper. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You can eat and drink afterward'? Would he be grateful to the servant who was only carrying out his orders? It is quite the same with you who hear me. When you have done all you have been commanded to do, say, 'We are uselesss servants. We have done no more than our duty.'"

5. The Vine and the Branches (John 15:1-8): My favorite part of this parable is verse 5, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who lives in me and I in him, will produce abundantly, for apart from me you can do nothing." 'Nuff said!

What are your favorites? I'm tagging Ouiz, Elizabeth, Margaret, Nutmeg, and Marianne.

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