Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Parable for Your Sunday Evening Meditation (Based on Luke 13.17-20)

Tonight's parable is based on Luke 13.17-20

Having just honored a woman, the great King left the crowd, leaving a gang of flustered self-righteous in his wake. He didn’t get far before the crowd’s rumble of whispers turned into laughter and excited talk. A smirk came to the King’s face and joy filled his heart. So he turned around to face the crowd—a move which silenced them immediately as they waited expectantly to see what their ruler would do next. Gazing over them for a few seconds, he raised his eyebrow as was common to his near-mischievous humor. Then he smiled.

“What is my kingdom like? What can I compare it with?” he asked, the smile never leaving.

Several in the crowd elbowed each other, the elderly couple stood intently looking, and the 15-year old mumbled something. None of them feared answering due to rebuke, but all of them feared that if they answered, they might accidentally speak over the King’s words. All of them, of course had answers, ‘the kingdom is like perfection,’ ‘like a family,’ ‘like a beautiful bride.’ But none of them spoke.

The King looked over the crowd once more and saw a little girl holding a puppy. Chuckling to himself and nodding, he said, “My kingdom is like a little puppy.” The girl looked wide-eyed and turned red. Kneeling beside her the King spoke gently, “My kingdom is like a little puppy that grows into a big great dog. Once grown, she gives birth to a litter of her own, and they become the pets of many, snuggling against their legs, eating their mess, and bringing them comfort on a cold winter day.” The dog licked the King’s face, and the crowd laughed.

Wiping off the saliva, he stood up. He cleared his throat and asked, “What is my kingdom like?”

The little girl whispered, “Like a puppy.” And those who heard her nodded in agreement.

“My kingdom,” the King continued, “is not just like a puppy. My kingdom is like a campfire. The Boy Scout takes a spark to the kindle. What starts as a small flame soon becomes a great fire and overtakes all the wood in the pit. And who doesn’t want the warmth of a fire on a chilly autumn night?”

The looks on their faces betrayed them. Anyone could see their minds racing to connect the dots.

The crowd would have many new answers to the question “What is my kingdom like?” So the King smiled yet again, scratched the puppy behind the ears, and turned to walk away. The group behind him laughed and talked excitedly again, but though the King smiled as before, he continued on his way. This was his kingdom.