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Invitations & Obligations

The Parable of the Wedding Feast, as told in the gospel of Matthew, calls to mind images of the vengeful God more commonly associated with the Old Testament. As an Easter people, this image doesn’t square with our understanding of God. However, if we peel back the unsavory...
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Right Relationship with God Requires Gratitude

The Parable of the Tenants cuts a hard-edged image of the relationship between the tenants and the land owner. The landowner repeatedly extends grace to a group of tenant farmers, who respond with ungratefulness and greed. If we consider where we may fit in the story, we are...
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Compare & Despair

This week, Faith in Real Life took on a direct challenge to our human notions of fairness. How could it possibly be right to pay the same wages to a group of workers who worked only half the hours (or less)? As Vernon Gramling writes, this parable “exposes our human...
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Lost & Found

“Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” This is the question that precedes the parable of the lost sheep–a commonly overlooked, but important contextual point when discussing this story. Hierarchy, competition, rankings, stratification… Human...
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In the Service of Love

Matthew 13:24-29; 36-45 24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then...
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Reality & Promise

This week in Faith in Real Life, the group discussed the Parable of the Sower, from Matthew’s gospel. It’s among the most well-known parables, but as Vernon Gramling asks in this week’s blog post, how does the meaning of the story shift if we move from thinking...
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A New Promise and a New Life

Who and what defines what is considered righteous? What happens when we put a new patch on an old garment by imposing one standard onto another? And what happens when we “see” each other–truly see each other–as complete beings, instead of a series of...
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Faithfully Offering Our Uncertainty

As DPC enters a summer focusing on the parables of Jesus, Faith in Real Life got a headstart, examining the parable of the wise and foolish builders. Here, Vernon Gramling offers his thoughts on the difference between certainty and conviction, and how our dependence on God forms...
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Do Not Be Surprised–Loving Is Hard

As timeless as scripture is, we still encounter times when relating with the text becomes challenging. We lack the context of the contemporary environment in which the text was written and, while the words on the page may seem plain, the depth of their relevance to our time feels...
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Power to Follow and Endure

This week in Faith in Real Life, the group continued discussion about Christian identity and how that should shape our perception of the world around us. If our personhood is safe with God, it opens us up to live more generously in all senses, both in giving of ourselves to...
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