Have you ever wondered what kind of parables Jesus would have told had he walked the earth in the 21st century? When I taught elementary school I often put that question to my students. I challenged them to rewrite a familiar parable using modern imagery. I was amazed at what the students created. Without exception they put a great deal of thought into the project and came up with ideas and insights that I did not anticipate. Inspired by a current country-western song I have been thinking about that assignment and even though I am not teaching an elementary religion class I want to initiate the parable re-creation project. Here are three ideas that I have been playing with in my prayerful imagination.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” Mt 5:14-16
Today I think Jesus would tell us to be “shining like lighters in the dark in the middle of a rock show” (“Barefoot Blue Jean Night” by Jake Owens).
“The kingdom of heaven shall be likened unto ten virgins, who took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.” Mt 25:1-5
Today I think Jesus would tell a story about ten young women who were on a road trip. Five who were wise set out with a full tank of gas; the five who were foolish left with a quarter-tank.
“What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? Mt 18:12
Today I think Jesus would tell a story about a teacher who took her class on a field trip. Upon heading back to school she noticed that only nineteen of her twenty students were safely on the bus. She won’t return to school until she searches for and finds the lost child.
How, in the 21st century, would you rewrite one of Jesus’ parable teachings?
That is your assignment … and it is due tomorrow! [Note from Webmaster: You are invited to use the Comment Form to send Sister Lisa a not long response.]
Sister Lisa Maurer
Sister Lisa Maurer was born and raised in Sleep Eye, Minnesota. Before entering the Monastery in 2007, she taught and coached in Catholic Schools within the New Ulm Diocese. Sister Lisa Made her Perpetual Monastic Profession in July ll, 2012. Her first ministry as a Benedictine Sister was working at the parishes of St. Lawrence and St. Joseph in Duluth. Currently she is Director of Mission Integration for the Benedictine Health System.