Story and parable are potent teaching tools. So far, Arlo picks up on all sorts of stories we tell, including biblical ones. I try to use them to say things about God, like, “God protects us,” “God loves all creatures,” etc. I haven't gone the direction of using a story to support a certain behavior I want to see or discourage another. I somehow think I'll hesitate there, just because parables and stories always have several meanings. If Arlo grows up thinking that the only lesson from the Good Samaritan is “be nice,” then he would miss out on many other meanings. On the other hand, “be nice” is not a bad beginning.
Liv Larson Andrews believes in the sensus lusus, or playful spirit. Liturgy, worship and faithful practice are at their best when accompanied with a wink, she says.