After reading this parable I was able to take some quiet time and process the implications of the story, agree with what I wanted to and disagree with the things that don't match my culture or experience. In that processing time, though, I got to thinking about parables and why we hear so few, if any, common day parables. There was a time during my undergrad at ACU that I heard Andre Resner, a preaching professor, work a common dat (for that day) parable. It wasn't an illustration for his sermon, it was his sermon. I was impressed then, like I was today.
I think today people aren't telling parables for a couple of reasons:
1. We don't understand the reason of parables in the first place. I would imagine that if we didn't have preachers/teachers exploring the many meanings of biblical parables we might be just as dumbfounded as the disciples were.
2. We've lost observance of our world. We have drowned ourselves in technology, people, work, material things, and entertainment that we can't stop to smell the roses or even watch the world as it goes by.
3. We don't like to learn through pain. Like acupuncture, when a parable hits the right spot it can draw pain. Sometimes we cannot learn from parables because we are too busy being defensive about the very behavior that the parable is confronting. However, sometimes in the pain there is a message that when seen through the sear of pain can bring us to a place we haven't been before, nor could have made it to without the pain.
There may be plenty of reasons why we are telling good parables. In fact, these reasons may be awful. But this is what I really want us to ponder. Can we find a way in 2012 to draw on more common day parables? Can we write parables into our lives that help us learn today? Are there any authors out there who want to take on the challenge?
We need some good parables for today.