Sunday, June 2, 2013

Four Modern-Day Parables

Here are four modern-day parables I wrote to try to explain the Kingdom of God. Three have previously been featured on facebook, but the princess one is brand new. I hope they are all thought-provoking and enjoyable!


1. “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what shall I compare it?

There once was a princess who lived in Jerusalem. One day, a prince from a faraway, powerful kingdom came to her city. He lived in Jerusalem for three years, and soon fell in love with the princess. The princess loved him back, and after the third year the prince proposed to her. He then told her that he had to first return to his own country to settle accounts with his father, but that he would return soon. The princess hated to see him go, but trusted in his promise.
As the months passed, many of the princess’ courtiers began to mutter that the prince had left for good, never to return. Others advised the princess to stop thinking about the prince as a person who was engaged to her, but rather a beautiful ideal to strive towards. But the princess ignored them all, and waited patiently for her fiancĂ©.
Eventually, after two years, the prince returned, explaining that he had been delayed because his father had wanted to invite as many people as possible to attend the wedding. The next day, the two were married and their kingdoms united.
However, all the courtiers who had expressed doubt in the prince were forbidden from attending the massive wedding feast. They were locked outside in the darkness, where they groaned and gritted their teeth in hunger. 

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

2. “Who is my neighbor?”

In reply, he said: “An aid worker from a Christian charity was going down the road from Kabul to Kandahar, when he was attacked by smugglers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A military convoy happened to be going down the same road, and when the lead driver saw the man, passed by on the other side. (The driver feared it was a set-up for an ambush). So too, a humvee carrying the US ambassador also passed by on the other side (the ambassador had an important meeting with the district governor). Soon, a member of the Taliban, as he traveled with his donkey, came where the man lay; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on an antiseptic and giving him some morphine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out three hundred American dollars and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Then the member of the Taliban went on his way. Two hours later, an American drone fired a missile at the inn, thinking it was a Taliban base. The missile killed all inside: the innkeeper, his wife, their children, and the aid worker.

Now tell me: which of these characters acted as a neighbor to the aid worker?”

“…the one who took care of him.”

“Then go and do likewise. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

3. “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what shall I compare it?

A small community of humans lived among the Vulcans. Every Friday night, the humans would cook dinners and invite the Vulcans to join them to eat, sing songs, and tell stories. And every Friday night, the Vulcans would politely decline. The humans’ music and laughter would echo long into the night. Eventually the Vulcans became angry at the disturbances, and deported the humans back to Earth. There, the humans continued their weekly gatherings—but now, so many people would join them, they scarcely had room enough to stand!

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

“A young Jedi Knight once sent a request for a meeting with Master Yoda. Master Yoda sent back a message- "Meditating, I am, in the Room of a Thousand Fountains." Not wishing to disturb, the young Jedi waited. The next day, he sent the same request. This time, Yoda replied: "In the training room, I am." The next day, the young Jedi sent his request a third time. This time, Yoda wrote: "Eating in the cafeteria, I am." Annoyed at Master Yoda for dodging his request, the young Jedi Knight gave up.
Weeks later, the same young Jedi ran into Yoda in the Main Atrium. Yoda asked him why they had never had a meeting. Exasperated, the young man cried out, "Because you always had an excuse! You never made time for me." Yoda slowly shook his head. "My son, sadly mistaken you are. My heart was to see you, and I told you where to find me. Wanted you to join me, I did. Sad was I, when you never showed."

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”