“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4 NIV).

One spiritual writer has observed that human beings are born with two diseases: life, from which we die, and hope, which says the first disease is not terminal.  Hope is built into the structure of our personalities, into the depths of our unconscious; it plagues us to the very moment of our death.  The critical question is whether hope is self-deception, the ultimate cruelty of a cruel and tricky universe, or whether it is just possibly the imprint of reality.

The parables of Jesus respond to that question.  In effect Jesus says:  Hope your wildest hopes, dream your maddest dreams, imagine your fantastic fantasies.  Where your hopes and your dreams and your imagination leave off, the love of my heavenly Father only begins.  For “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV).

Brennan Manning cited in His Parables, p. 10.  Brentwood, TN: Integrity Publishers, 2005.

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