The parables that Jesus told serve as word pictures that push the listener to engage the imagination and visualize God's Kingdom. These 'word pictures' describe easily visualized scenarios - going fishing, asking a neighbour for bread, sowing seed in a field, hiring an employee, looking for a lost coin - simple everyday occurances that give us a window into God's present kingdom.
In this series we will combine some of these parables of Jesus with well-known artist's renditions of these parables in order to help the listener capture a deeper dimension of the Kingdom truths that Jesus told.
As I tell the story of the growing seed, we will admire Vincent van Gogh's "The Mulberry Tree" (1889), painted while van Gogh was a patient at a mental asylum. van Gogh firmly believed he saw God's kingdom all around him in nature, and in his life he sensed the glory of God.
When we deal with the parable of the Friend at Midnight, we will view two paintings that emphasize different aspects of that parable - Eugene Burnand's drawing of the Importunate Neighbour(1908) and Jan Luiken's portrayal Parable of the Friend at Midnight(1795).
Through this series it is my hope that we come to a greater appreciation of Jesus' teachings but also to a deeper understanding that all of our senses play in meeting the Kingdom of God.
June 17: Parable of the seeds (Mark 4:26-34)
June 24: Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16)
July 08: Parable of the Friend at Midnight(Luke 11:1-13)
July 15: Parable of the Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18:21-35)
July 22: Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30)
July 29: Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)
-- Pastor Paul Vanderkooy, July 2018