Watching and Waiting for the Master’s Return
As the Lord Jesus was traveling with his disciples from village to village and town to town, He shared much with the crowds that gathered around Him. One parable he told was about watching and being ready for the Master’s return…
“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Luke 12:35-40 (NIV)
Dialogue the Story
“The 7 Steps of Dialogue” is one method our partners use while storytelling Bible stories:
- Review the story, repeating it multiple times.
- Use the natural, cultural patterns of the local culture to introduce and tell the story.
- Ask listeners to retell the story. Accuracy is very important.
- Ask questions that help the listeners review the story without explaining or preaching.
- Ask questions that help to discover what the listener has understood.
- Be sensitive in dealing with incorrect answers or retellings that are not accurate.
- Use the discussion time to help develop positive relationships with the learners.
While forming questions for dialoguing a story we ask ourselves, “Can the question be answered in the story?” If not, we rephrase the question or come up with a different one. We generally avoid “Why?” questions as they often require the listener to guess or conclude something that is not clearly answered in the story.
I encourage you to try this storytelling and dialogue method with your family, church small group, or other group of friends. Pick one of your favorite parables or stories and see what the Holy Spirit reveals as you engage as a group in the Word of God. We find that the Lord teaches us something new every time we engage the Word this way. Try it and have some fun!
With this parable I find myself often looking up these days, watching and waiting for the Master. The Son of Man, as the Lord Jesus often referred to himself, assured us with the blessed hope of His promised glorious appearing. It is a fact; He is coming soon.
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What has help me most on discussion and dialogue is having a template for asking questions of any narrative section… What can we learn spiritually by what the characters are saying, and doing the choices they make and the options they could’ve taken, as well as the results and impact of those choices… Always ending up with a question related to what do we learn about the person actions and attributes of God… these questions are often used bysimpy the story
Thanks for sharing, Larry. Yes, let the Holy Spirit guide the questions and discussions whether structured or unstructured and see what is revealed! We seem to discover something new every time we “story” a parable with others in a small group.
Blessings to you,