Parables: The Sacred Art of (Mis)communication
What is the difference between a myth and a parable?
On the surface, they have many similarities. Both are ways of telling stories. Both have meanings that point beyond themselves. But we might say they differ on the effect they are intended to have on listeners.
Myths are foundational stories. They gesture to the origins of things, provide explanations, and establishes one’s worldview. Each of us has been shaped by many myths over our lifetimes, be they about money, happiness, relationships, or God.
Often, however, parables are de-centering stories. Through twists, absurdities, or open-ended conclusions, they can call into question our foundational myths and unsettle our frameworks.
Jesus was a master story-teller, and often used destabilizing parables to illustrate the coming Kingdom of Heaven. In this series, we will be deeply exploring Christ’s subversive stories from the book of Luke. Rather than simply read the parables, each week we will be hearing one of these stories in the style of Biblical storytelling—a way of using Scripture that emphasizes the oral tradition from which is was born. May we have ‘ears to hear’ these familiar stories in new—and possibly unsettling—ways.