“Fools. Liars. Cheaters. Who would expect the likes of these to be invited to the heavenly banquet? But in his parable comparing the kingdom of God to a wedding feast, Jesus tells us that the king invited ‘both good and bad’ (Matthew 22:10). He not only invited people with social standing, but the poor, the disabled, and anybody else his servants could find. Quite an assortment of guests!”
From Fools, Liars, Cheaters, and Other Bible Heroes by Barbara Hosbach
As we head into Lent and journey with Jesus to Jerusalem, we will shout Hosanna in praise, and share a holy supper with him. At times throughout this journey, we will boldly proclaim the coming of Christ like John and will be faithfully at Jesus’ side like Mary. However, there will be times throughout this journey that we will fall asleep, run away, and deny our Lord. We will reject the Light and hand over our teacher, as our shouts of praise turn into cries to “Crucify him!”
A reality of our humanity that we explore in the season of Lent is that we are a fallen and broken people. We have come from dust and to dust, we shall return. It makes sense that our Adult Education series for Lent focuses on this reality…that we are fools, liars, and cheaters. Yet, in exploring Barbara Hosbach’s book in the coming weeks, we must not ignore the rest of the title…and other bible heroes. Upon first reading the full title, one might need to take a second look…Fools, Liars, Cheaters, and Other Bible Heroes.
It is in this title that a Gospel truth begins to be revealed. Yes, the Law reminds us of our failings, of our limitations, of our sinfulness. But the Gospel promise proclaims that even in our brokenness, God is at work, even in our darkness, the Light of Christ can shine. The bible is full of people who live in darkness, who make poor choices, who struggle to live as God’s chosen people. Yet, their brokenness does not stop God. In fact, it is often because of their brokenness that God chooses them, revealing God’s promise, presence, and power in and through unexpected people. It is this Gospel truth that can offer us courage and comfort as we boldly enter this Lenten season.
We are broken and living in darkness. Too often we are blind the Spirit of God in our lives and in the lives of others. Yet, like the fools, liars, and cheaters we will learn about in Adult Ed, God is still at work in us, in others, and throughout our corrupt world. Let us not shy away from our fallen reality or try to sugarcoat our sinful nature. Lent is a reflective time to acknowledge of failures, admit our limitations, and confess our sins. We can undertake this difficult work with confidence, not in our own abilities or merit, but in the assurance that our journey with Christ does not end with us nailing him to the cross. Rather it continues to the empty tomb, where the Light conquers darkness, where we are restored, where we are made saints by the grace of God.
As Lent begins, we embrace that we are both sinners and saint, broken and yet restored, in darkness yet children of the Light. We are fools. We are liars, We are cheaters…yet, we are God’s beloved, called and empowered to be heroes in a world of need.
“God is inviting us all, right where we are, right now.” ~ Barbara Hosbach
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Come and join us between services as we work our way through this engaging book. Each week, we’ll explore another section, discussing the characters, their brokenness, how God used them, and how their call can impact our lives. Don’t worry if you have to miss a week, you can always connect with us online, as each week a blog post will recap of the discussion, link to the bible stories referenced in the book, offer some additional resources, and unite us all in faithful learning as the virtual body of Christ! Come and participate, log on and participate.
Week of February 18th: Introduction
Week of February 25th – Chapters 1-7
Week of March 4th – Chapters 8-14
Week of March 11th – Chapters 15-21
Week of March 18th – Chapters 22-28
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