In the Gospel of Luke there are several “quest” stories. These are stories about people who were trying to find something, and they include a paralytic person, a soldier, a woman with a medical condition, a
leper, a rich ruler, a tax collector, and a criminal. In every case these individuals had some condition which they could not personally change.
I like these stories because they are a microcosm of the whole world. In them you will find powerful people who find themselves in perplexing and impossible situations. Who can only say, “I give up; I need help.”
There are people who are so hated by society that they are entirely alone and powerless. People who have medical problems so great that they can’t work in gainful ways, nor are they even allowed to have relationships with their respective communities.
These stories sound like they could be lifted off the front pages of our newspapers: the politician who is barbecued in the political sector because of a daliance with a prostitute. What’s he to do to put his life back together?
Or the single mother who’s just lost her job and has no medical insurance for a sick child. Where is she to find employment or assistance? Will she end up homeless?
And of course, the person who realizes that there has to be more to life than what they are experiencing. This is the person who is asking the hard questions, but may not be willing to pay that cost just yet.
Quest stories are, in my view, a true picture of the human condition. Whether we are willing to admit it or not, we’re all on a quest. This is the subject of my sermon this coming Sunday.