From this side of history, Jeremiah has great resolve. Yet the shifting political allegiances he interprets are not so different from our own uncertainties. Only in retrospect are Jeremiah's claims clear.
It seems a little backward on the Sunday after Pentecost to receive instructions that have already been successfully carried out. Peter and the disciples blew them away last week, preaching up a storm of fire and spirit like a host of Rosetta Stone experts. But today we go back to the place where Jesus told them what to do: Go and make disciples.
The best storytellers paint pictures with words, using them to fill our minds with vivid imagery. I remember reading the first Harry Potter novel to my first-grade son. Each time we completed a chapter and I turned the page to start a new one he would shift in my lap and look away from the book. Finally I asked him what was wrong. He replied, “I don’t want to see the drawing on the first page of the chapter because I want to think about what things look like all by myself.”
In these days of Enron, Martha Stewart and wars waged over phantom weapons, we know better than to defend dishonesty. Then why would Jesus offer a parable lauding it? Upon closer inspection, however, this parable is just one in a long line of stories that Jesus tells about how to handle wealth.
The day before Congress voted to support George W. Bush's "use of force" in Iraq a young man stood at the center of the Duke University campus near the end of an hour-long peace rally and announced, "I am a Christian.
College is a crucible in which opinions are formed, challenged and reformed; beliefs are redefined or perhaps defined for the first time, and attitudes become more resolute. That this is so life-shaping a time has something to do with the age of most college students—late adolescence to early adulthood—but also much to do with the campus milieu.