The following message is from Luther Seminary's daily devotional called God Pause, Thursday, September 15, 2016. Sandy Van Zyl, '88, an ELCA Pastor serving United Congregational Church, Butte, Mont.
"Many times as Christians we expect that the church will help us teach our children and grandchildren important values and guidelines for living. If that's the case for you, I wouldn't recommend starting with this parable! It's a strange story. It doesn't have an edifying message you'd want to pass on, like love one another or be generous. Here the "virtues" Jesus seems to be praising are dishonesty and creative book keeping. But fortunately this is not a parable that ends with Jesus saying "Go and do likewise!"
This parable goes against all of our common understanding of fairness and good business sense. Recognizing that this story comes in Luke right after the story of the prodigal son, may help us understand it better, because this is a prodigal manager. He cancels debts that are owed. He forgives extravagantly. When we recognize that we too are on the receiving end of this kind of strange bookkeeping, we can be grateful for the creative accounting techniques of the Kingdom!
Good and generous God, thank you for forgiving our debts so extravagantly. Thank you for "cooking the books" in our favor. Amen"
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See you in Church,
Interim Pastor Craig Storlie