I love coincidences. Yes, I know there are no such things, at least according to detective novel heroes and a couple of ABC. Nonetheless, I love them. For instance, this mornings OT reading for the daily office is the story of Naboth’s vineyard, in which Jezebel arranges for Naboth to be falsely accused of blasphemy and stoned to death. The plot works, and we account it to Jezebel’s ledger of naughty deeds. But there are all sorts of co-conspirators: all the elders and nobles, the scoundrels, and Ahab. It got me to wondering.
Sunday’s Gospel reading from Luke is the wise/wicked manager who not only steals from his master, when caught, ingratiates himself to his master debtors, so he will be able to survive after he his dismissed. A college of mine lamented for all us who realized this is Sunday’s readings. I too groaned as I read his post.
This evening as I read all of Sunday’s appointed lessons, it simply occurred to me if this is a parale about letting Satan (the loathsome manager) into your life in the guise of a self-serving favor for another, i.e. the elders and nobles in Kings.
A line from the Lord of the Rings pops into my head. Frodo and Sam and marching cross country wondering about this Ranger who has rescued them, and is leading them across country. He is not your typical hero, in fact quite the opposite. Sam asks Frodo if he is a trap and Frodo replies I think not, if it were so he would look fairer and smell fouler.
I’m beginning to wonder if this parable doesn’t have a thing to do with the manager, and everything to do with self serving debtors. I do not think this is an analogy, i.e. the disciples are the debtors. I do think Jesus is trying to break up old ways of thinking and using very strange stories to do so.