Oh, wait! I got it. Jesus says, We’re the fish caught on the correct side of the boat. No. We’re all branches to his vine. No. We’re sheep, and he’s our shepherd. No, still. Here it is.
We’re the burning lamp atop a Steinhafel’s table. No, still, still. Silly me, we’re the mustard seed that grows into a humongous tree. Or, are we the clay and he the potter?
Dust! That’s it. We’re dust until he breathed life into us. Oh, wait once again. How could I forget, we’re the Prodigal Son asking for forgiveness. Or, on second thought, are we that small, little man in the tree looking for a glimpse of salvation. Now some of you may be Lazarus, thought dead but alive and well. Or, how about being pregnant at 86, like Elizabeth. Or sadly, sharing your husband as Sarah did.
Should I continue? No, that’s enough. All the characters of our lives are captured in that mystical book we call the Bible. They’re all there for our reflection and application upon our own lives – at different times and in varied situations. All those Biblical people are dead. Oddly enough, or grace-filled enough, those same characters sometimes continue to live within our neighbors, family, friends, and … yes, even within ourselves.
It’s simple to view the “mustard seed” in a second grader receiving the Eucharist for the first time this weekend. Yet, what about the 86-year-olds who also have new seeds to plant during this new chapter in their long book called, “War and Peace?”
I imagined Zacchaeus as a physically very tall and proud man. He only became small and needing to climb a tree because he thought little of people and treated them that same way for his own personal, financial gain.
I definitely know that we are all that unnamed Prodigal Son because his name can be any of ours. We make up a confession and begin to spit it out, but God kills the fatted calf in our honor because he’s forgiven us before we can finish our speech. We admitted our wrongdoing. That’s all that God commands of us. How about the crucifixion, we’ve mostly likely been both thieves, one demanding and the other admitting.
I’ve never understood us being “fish” or “sheep” in the eyes of Jesus. Both creatures are foolish and silly. Yet, both also are committed to community. A union of purpose and spirit. And, both needing a leader. But, I guess, even one fish and a single sheep can get wrapped up in oneself, self-serving, and thoughtless in uncaring and uncharitable ways.
Is this about us? I thought we were talking about fish and sheep? Oh, wait.