Mark 4:30

Jesus also said,  “To what can we liken the kingdom of God? By what can we illustrate it?


from now ‘til our dying day
we will wrestle to make clear
the best we can imagine
and apply it in degraded settings

we will reclaim old words
and stories worn out through usage
expected comfortable safe
every hopeful inspiration strikes twice

we will make up new words
and stories still finding a plot line
surprising edgy brave
shaping today into tomorrow’s better

we will sit in silence without words
and stories waiting for another time
frustrated disappointed hopeful
already calling tomorrow out of today

we sing praise for the incomplete
which carries us together along
as we were are not and ever will be
mining common good out of old clay


How can we describe a presence of G*D when we already know how difficult it is to describe the presence of a human partner, a dear one? The best we can do is pile image upon image rather than pare our description down to one characteristic.

If we were following Mark through a form of drama, Swanson’s techniques would be helpful:

The task of playing a mass of parables is difficult, more difficult than it might appear. The stories erupt one after another, the images shift and change, and the explanation of this parable is jammed into the middle of something else. Remember to bring your audience along when  you perform [these scenes]. Groups that I have worked with have done well with parable complexes by playing them as riotously as they possibly can. If the images riot with each other on the page, the players riot with each other onstage as well. Parable interrupts parable, explanations are inserted as soon as the interrupter stops to take a breath. Try this one possible strategy.

In each teaching there is an underlying sense of more than arcane secrets being shared. There is an overtly political message that takes as given the presence of and partnership with G*D and one another. From this, no matter what the size of tree or temple or empire that seems to loom over your time and space, a new arrangement is growing and will come to fruition, and the smallest possibility holds a hope large enough to pursue and Jubilate with as it is revealed.

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