ECCLESIOLOGICAL ETCHINGS January 29, 2023 A friend of mine is a minister, and his daughter asked one time, "What’s the difference between true stories that tell a truth and untrue stories that tell a truth?" I think about The Butter Battle Book, written by Dr. Seuss. It is a crazy, silly book that can have your tongue all tangled up if you are reading it out loud, as I often was. It’s wonderfully goofy as it presents two different groups of people: Those who eat their bread with the butter side up and those who eat their bread with the butter side down. And I’m guessing many people enjoyed the book without ever recognizing how it was a caricature or spoof on the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, specifically the principle of mutually assured destruction. No one will fire first because no one will win. The two sides in the book were the Zooks and Yooks, and they kept on building up their weapons to defend their side of the butter argument. Now some people might shake their heads and say, "You’re reading way too much into that story. That’s not what it's about." And if I were to guess, I imagine there were a handful of folks who heard Jesus tell a parable, and as the larger group started discussing the meaning and implications of the parable, this handful of folks shook their heads and said, "You’re reading way too much into that story. Jesus just wanted to share a cute story to entertain us." If a story communicates a great truth, even if it is not a factually true story, isn’t it still a true story?
Continue to guide us deeper into the magnificent and thought-provoking stories of the faith. We desire to know you, O Living Word, and there is probably much for us to learn as we gain greater insight into the context of the faith stories we have been told. Provide us with hearts made available for what might require some imagination. Amen.