Created in partnership with Center Church in Richmond VA for a teaching series, these comics are the result of several years of personal research on biblical literature and specifically the parables told by Jesus.
Though I have been experiencing the upheaval of my belief system that many with a background in faith go through, I chose not to embrace cynicism or part ways with my upbringing, but to humble myself and learn.
There are truths that transcend the limits of language and its ability to communicate. There are times the art of storytelling is necessary to express that which language cannot fully reveal. That is where I have rediscovered the beauty and power of the teachings of Jesus. He recognized that the closest we could come to grasping the mysterious, upside-down Kingdom of God was through pictures he painted in the mind of his followers.
In this series, called Simulacrum, are some of the quintessential parables we have on record. A shepherd shows us the length of Love in action. Coins reveal our power of choice when handed the gift of grace. Seeds scattered hint at the mystery of the God's presence in conflict with our world. A father's unconditional forgiveness sheds light on how we falsely think we can lose or even earn divine favor.
Jesus concluded several of his parables with the benediction: "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." Parables speak to the listener no more than they are ready to hear. He understood that our preconceived notions take time and minuscule increments to progress towards a paradoxical concept of a kingdom that puts loss and failure as the engine of victory.
In his day, Jesus words were heresy to the extent that it cost him his life. And today, though his teachings have greatly influenced positive change in individuals and our society over the centuries, there is much yet that we would do well to embrace. I sense that both those who call themselves followers of Jesus and those who do not could gain much by reflecting on this challenge posed by theologian NT Wright: "What should we be doing in the world that would call forth the puzzled or even angry questions to which parables like these would be the right answer?"