“The gospel will not be relegated to insignificance. If it were only a human work, it could perhaps be dispensed with. But it is something more than a human work. It is the seed of God’s creative, redeeming, and restoring presence. Its beginnings, to be sure, are inauspicious, but slowly and inescapably it grows and intrudes in our lives. Like a bush or tree, it becomes something we can no longer ignore, despite the many other things in life that at first seem more important. The transformative power of the gospel produces the qualities of love and joy, peace and patience, goodness and kindness, that we most long for, but that most elude us.”

 — James Edwards


On Parables

“An allegory can be understood from the ‘outside,’ 
but parables can be understood only from within, 
by allowing oneself to be taken into the story and hearing 
who God is 
and what humans may become. 
Parables are like stained glass windows in a cathedral, 
dull and lifeless from the outside 
but brilliant and radiant from within.” 

— James Edwards


“My experience is that people think that just opening the Bible and putting themselves in front of it means that the Holy Spirit will just drop understanding on them to reward them for having given time to it. And what Jesus is actually setting up here is an understanding of how we ENCOUNTER TRUTH through words. It’s not always immediately evident; that understanding grows over time. You have to know, the disciples remembered these parables later, and understood them at a different level than they did in the moment. So we should expect that when we come to the Bible, we should not put it in a category of discipleship tools that will be intuitive or easy. We should understand that like all areas of following Christ, this, too, will require effort, and patience, and careful thought.” — Jen Wilkin, "What You Talking About, Jesus?"/podcast on parables
What are parables and how should we read them? Listen to this podcast featuring Jen Wilkin at the Village Church. Thanks for the tip, Jenny Dowling Smith!


Forsaking all for the Bridegroom

“The questions posed by the image of the wedding feast and the two [short] parables is not whether disciples will, like sewing a new patch on an old garment or refilling an old container, make room for Jesus in their already full agendas and lives. The question is whether they will forsake business as usual and join the wedding celebration, whether they will become entirely new receptacles for the expanding fermentation of Jesus and the gospel in their lives.” — James Edwards