8 years ago: I Got You Babe

Feb. 2, 2005, on this blog: I Got You Babe

And because it is a parable none of those folks attempting to summarize its meaning or its purported spiritual message are quite convincing. That’s the thing about parables, they’re irreducible — the meaning of the story can’t be separated from the story itself. Whenever you hear the preacher say, “What this parable means is …” you know he’s got it wrong, or at least incomplete. They’re not fables that can be summed up in a tidy, didactic “moral of the story.”

I’m worried that, like Buncombe’s religious experts, I’m starting to sound like I’m giving far too much weight to this breezy little story. But keep in mind that most of Jesus’ parables are, more or less, structured like jokes. “A priest, a Levite and a Samaritan walk into a bar …” They might have a punchline (or two or three), but that’s different from the moral of the story.


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  • RickRS

    Oh!  Time to rewatch my favorite Bill Murray movie!

  • ReverendRef

    A few months ago the Lectionary had a passage with three or four of Jesus’ parables in quick succession.  I updated them so they were parables about wild asparagus growing by the highway, a field of sunflowers and a little boy with new shoes (there might have been another one, but I can’t remember).  I then asked the congregation to tell me what the parables were about.

    It was fun to hear all the different interpretations, and I think it was one of my better sermons.

  • http://twitter.com/abianne abi

    Are those posted anywhere? I’d love to read them. 

  • ReverendRef

     Um . . . Let me go digging . . .