Jesus often used stories to convey his message about God's reign in the present and the future. He incorporated elements of everyday life in his parables that were short stories pointing toward the good news that God offers. Matthew 13 includes numerous parables in which Jesus sought to connect God's ways with things that were familiar to people of his day, by speaking of sowing seeds, mustard seeds, yeast, treasure, pearls, and fishing. By presenting God's message through stories, people could more clearly hear and receive words both of hope and challenge. Jesus' stories were often simple but very profound. Beginning in July, I begin a sermon series based on the Master Storyteller's parables found in Matthew 13 as we seek to uncover the depth and wisdom of these stories for us today.