Friday, April 22, 2011

Rings in the Water Parable

Matthew 22:34-40
Luke 10:30-37

Throw a rock into the water.

Water serves as an example of how Christians are meant to live out the Gospel in the world. The verse from Matthew reminds us of the concentric circles, which start small but soon spread in all directions, sets an example of how our actions are meant to be. It starts when we encounter God’s love and desire nothing more that to love God in return. As you have seen when the rock goes in the water....that is where the action begins.

As the circle grows a little larger, it reflects how we might share God’s love with others closest to us, which includes our family, friends and others on this trip with you now. But the circle can continue to grow bigger as you show God’s love to others that may be acquaintances that you know but are not close to you. As the sphere of love continues to grow, it encircles even our enemies or others that have been mean to us or talked bad about us.

You may have heard the term, “pay it forward.” It was the title of a movie from 2000 that encouraged people to do a good thing for three people and then challenge them to “pay it forward” to three more people. The goal was to spread good deeds to others in a way that could potentially reach around the world.

Throw a rock in the water near an obstruction.

Were you able to see how the waves in the water can be hindered or reflected back by obstructions? The same is true in life. Sometimes our first wave of love doesn’t always doesn’t cover each area. Maybe a new approach is needed (Throw a rock in another place to allow the area that had no waves to now be covered by waves.) The same holds true as you share God’s love and grace with others; your actions may be rejected the first or second time so it is important to continue loving and helping others. Who knows, maybe the waves of love you share will be joined with another’s “waves” and break through the barriers in someone’s life that is keeping them from accepting God’s grace for them. (Let everyone throw in a rock and see how the circles connect and cover a larger area. OK, this may not be a good idea if you have a group of more than about 25 people so use your best judgment.)

How can you make waves and share God’s love with others? Consider how you might be able to the spread the Gospel by sharing God’s love with others during the time you have together.

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