“We don’t do this well” is a phrase you will often hear on Sunday mornings at Eastgate. This well used phrase is meant to be a reminder that we do not participate in a works based salvation system. We are all invited to rely, not on our own abilities, but the consistent grace of God and the sacrifice made by Jesus on the cross. In this understanding, and the secure place of belonging to God, we are able to begin making those positive changes in our daily life.
This Sunday, we are going to be reading Luke 19:11-27, and there we will find a parable that seems to be giving us a job while we wait for Jesus’ return. The snag however, is that in this parable, the King (who seems to be representing Jesus) returns to let his servants know that he has been keeping track of their work and he is angry with the one servant who didn’t do their job well.
In our private reading of scripture we might be tempted to skip over the parts of the text that don’t fit neatly in our narrative, but when we study a whole book together as the church we are forced to confront every word of Jesus that’s recorded. We are forced to ask questions like, “Is it still okay if I don’t do this well even though these verses show a side of Jesus that is angry with someone who doesn’t do this well?” How might we balance this text with the emphasis we find on grace in other parts of the Gospel?
Together, at Eastgate, we will be exploring the context of these verses, and we’ll search for the truth of what Jesus was trying to communicate here… even if it means we find ourselves challenged along the way.
I hope you can join us as we examine this intriguing passage.