The Truth of Fiction

“Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king …” Matthew 22:1.

This coming Sunday we are going to use the story told by Harper Lee called “To Kill a Mockingbird” as a jumping-off point for the service. The book was made into a movie and both have become classics in their own right. It’s the story of a sleepy southern town during the depression years of the 1930’s. It is told through the eyes of a child – Jean Louise Finch, known affectionately as “Scout”.

Harper Lee uses this fictional child to weave her yarn of everyday life, racism, bigotry, hatred and heroism. The book combines depth of insight with beautiful simplicity. The tragedies which unfold on the page strike chords of recognition even some 80 years after the book was written.

Whether referencing humankind’s highest ambitions and most noble goals or plumbing the deep-seated prejudices we harbor in our hearts, the fictional story tears down the social and cultural cataracts which blur the truth. How can something so made up be so true? 

When Jesus spoke about the most important things he told stories. When Christ wanted to teach life’s most important lessons he told parables. The “Once upon a time” of any good book invites us to more serious reflection of the events and assumptions of our own time.

May we find truth today, especially when it is hiding in fiction.

A blessed Tuesday.

 

Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.