When Jesus begins a story with “What do you think?” we are invited to share exactly what we think about the story in scripture. The following is an illustration about what it means to be faithful. So, what do you think?
Matthew 21:28-32: The Parable of the Two Sons
28 “What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 The son answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. 30 The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him. (NRSV)
- Read the scripture slowly. You may want to read it more than once.
- Consider who you would like to interact with. It could be the son you find agreeable, or the son you want to question or debate with. It could be Jesus. Who are you drawn to? When you decide on a character, write the name at the top of your paper.
- Have an imaginary conversation — on paper — with the character in the story. You may want to stick with the theme of the scripture and talk about that or you may want to discuss other topics. It is completely up to you. Let your imagination roll free and see what transpires. (20 minutes)
- When you are finished, read your dialogue aloud.
- What is it like to have a conversation with a biblical figure? Why did you choose the character you chose? Did anything in the conversation surprise you? Did anything in the conversation move you? Did you feel any inner “blocks” to doing this sort of exercise? Did you feel the presence and guidance of God in the dialogue? What did you learn about yourself as you engaged this biblical figure? How easy or difficult is it for you to have these kinds of imaginary conversations? How useful would you say such conversations are for you?
- End your reflection time with a prayer of gratitude for what you experienced with this scripture.