The sheep and sons wandering off. Coins clattering to the floor, rolling out of sight. Lamps that sputter dry. Somebody tearing a hole in the roof to lower a broken body like a piñata at a badly planned birthday party—
It makes me think how utterly smashed, uncomely is this Savior’s kingdom come.
Like today with the coughing in the pews, the notes sung off-key, the opaque sermon, rote and broke prayers as an old lady naps loudly and a youngster has a laugh attack.
Every Sunday I sit among four hundred parables. Chewing gum and busted bank accounts and colicky babes, no two the same but each attached to an identical ending.
The one I claim as I discover the rip in my pants, the one that will have me searching the house for needle and thread, some good light, and the patience to go at it a stitch at a time.
I love the story of the four men who carry their paralyzed friend to see Jesus and can’t get close because of the crowd. Undeterred, they carry him to the roof and lower him right into the middle of the crowd to the feet of Jesus.
When the congregation I serve initiated a prayer chain several years ago, its participants were amazed at the response: healing intercessions requested for all manner of illnesses and ailments—physical, emotional, spiritual, societal. The calls poured in from members and nonmembers alike.