Do you enjoy a story with a plot twist, a tale where the solidly reliable character suddenly (and shockingly) turns out to be working for the enemy, or so it seems, until eventually you discover that they've been set up by the other solid reliable character? It can be deeply unsettling to enter into a world like this where nothing is certain and no-one can be trusted but such a story will probably keep our interest right to the last chapter or scene.
Jesus also tells stories with plot twists. There is a man who knows how to run a profitable business and who has future-proofed his enterprise by covering every angle, or has he? In another of his stories there is the young waster who is on his way to well-deserved ruin while his diligent brother is on course for taking over the family farm. What could possibly go wrong?
But Jesus does not tell this kind of story just to give the thrill of riding a scary roller-coaster through a contorted plot. He wants people to be shocked now by the way his stories end so that they won’t end up being shocked later by the way that their own life-story ends. And for those who are full of despair as they look at the trajectory of their own life-story Jesus wants them to see that they are not beyond the reach of the most surprising ending ever.
I’d like to invite you to come and join with a few others for an informal any-question-goes look at some of Jesus’ plot twisters. ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ will meet on four Wednesday evenings (4th and 18th May, 1st and 15th June) at the Vicarage in Burton. There is no charge. You don’t need to bring anything. I will not make any assumptions about what you know or believe. There will be time to ask questions if you want to. And if you've already missed the first evening you can join us for the second.
You may think you’re an unlikely candidate for such a group but why not introduce into your life a plot twist of your own? If you’re interested please get in touch with me.