Modern-Day Parables

 

Feb

24

2014

Trevin Wax|12:10 am CT

If Daniel 3 Were Written Today…

gay_marriage_81102178_620x350The United States of America crafted a gold statue called Aphrodite. They stamped it in their books, discussed it in their universities, and showed it on their screens.

The U.S. sent word to assemble the politicians, pastors, culture-makers, critics, businesspeople, judges, and law enforcers, and all the influencers of the different spheres of culture to attend the dedication of the statue that society had set up.

So the politicians, pastors, culture-makers, critics, businesspeople, judges, law enforcers, and all the influencers of the different spheres of culture assembled for the dedication of the statue.

The news media and courts loudly proclaimed:

“People of every state and region, race and religion, you are commanded: When you see anyone bowing down to Aphrodite – no matter where or when or how or whether or not you agree, you are to clap your hands and celebrate the gold statue that the United States of America has set up. But whoever does not clap their hands and celebrate will immediately be marginalized, cast aside, and silenced.”

Therefore, when all the people saw anyone bowing down to Aphrodite, people of every state and region, race and religion, clapped their hands and celebrated the gold statue that the U.S. had set up.

Some took this occasion to come forward and maliciously accuse the Christians. They said to American citizens:

Long live your country! Our society has issued a decree that everyone who sees anyone bowing down to Aphrodite, must clap their hands and celebrate the gold statue. Whoever does not clap their hands and celebrate will be marginalized, cast aside, and silenced. There are some Christians however, who manage businesses, hospitals, pharmacies, and adoption agencies. They are bakers, photographers, and florists. These people have ignored you, America. They do not serve your gods or celebrate the gold statue you have set up.”

Then in a furious rage the U.S. citizenry gave orders to bring in the offenders. So these people were brought before the cultural gatekeepers. Society asked them:

“Is it true that you don’t serve our gods or celebrate the gold statue we have set up? Now if you’re ready, when you see anyone bowing down to Aphrodite, clap your hands and celebrate the statue we’ve created. But if you don’t celebrate it, you will immediately be marginalized, cast aside, and silenced — and who will be able to rescue you from our penalties and fines?”

The Christians replied to their fellow citizens,

“Beloved countrymen, we don’t need to give you an answer to this question. If the God we serve exists, then He can sustain us in the event we are being marginalized, cast aside, and silenced, and He can rescue us from craving approval from the rest of our society. But even if He does not protect us from your penalties and fines, we want you as a society to know that we will not serve your gods or celebrate the gold statue you set up.”

 
 

Oct

06

2011

Trevin Wax|3:52 am CT

The Parable of the City Dog and the Country Dog

A Tale of Two Dogs

Once upon a time, there was a dog that lived in a sprawling house in the middle of the city. Though the house had plenty of doggie toys and plenty of room for play, the city dog hated being cooped up inside. Day after day, it looked longingly out the window and past the fenced-in yard around the house to the street where cars zoomed and pedestrians rushed by. The dog made little use of its spacious accommodations, choosing instead to focus on the doors that were always closed and the curtains that were always drawn.

Every evening, the city dog anxiously awaited the arrival of its master – not because it loved the master but because the master’s arrival provided an opportunity for escape. As soon as the dog heard the master’s keys jingle outside the door, it attempted a mad dash out of the house and into the yard. But without fail the good master, with a pained expression of disappointment, made sure the dog stayed inside where no harm might befall it. Wearily the dog would retreat to a corner of the house and start planning its next escape.

~~~~~

A dozen miles away, there was another dog. This dog lived in a one-room house set on a sprawling country farm. At one edge of the farm’s borders was a cliff overlooking a rushing river. On the other side was a dark forest. But no fences were present. The country dog was free to roam the farm, but it usually preferred to stay close to the front porch. It worried that if it strayed too far, it might miss its master’s arrival.

Every evening, the master’s arrival was the highlight of the country dog’s day. As soon as the master came into view, the dog would bound to his side to greet him. It followed close behind him, wanting to get into the house, not because of anything special inside but simply because it was where the master stayed. Each day without fail, the master showered his love and affection on the country dog and then led it inside the tiny farmhouse, where it wagged its tail with great contentment. Even in a shack, it was so satisfied to be in the master’s presence that the outside world held no power of attraction for it.

Lesson

Growth in holiness does not take place when our focus is on the boundaries but when our focus is on the Master. Fences may keep us from harm, but love for the Master is what keeps us from fences.

 
 

Jun

13

2007

Trevin Wax|9:54 am CT

The Treasure

Once upon a time, there was a family who had been entrusted with the most priceless Treasure on earth. The family prized it, cherished it, and spoke freely of it to everyone around. The family celebrated their inheritance by placing it in a large box wrapped in shiny paper and closed shut with bows and ribbons. 

As the years passed, the Treasure was seen less and less. The family’s fascination shifted from the Treasure itself to the decorations that adorned it.

One day, the family invited all their friends and neighbors to come over and see the Treasure. They showed the neighbors the bows and ribbons and wrapping paper. They opened the box to find nothing inside. But it had been so long since anyone had seen the Treasure, that no one was too concerned. The Treasure was missing, but all the wrapping was still there.

So the family celebrated the wrapping and the bows and ribbons, saying that this was the inheritance, while the neighbors went away sad, saying, “We hoped to see the Treasure.”

written by Trevin Wax. © 2007 Kingdom People Blog

 
 

Jan

12

2007

Trevin Wax|8:08 am CT

Grandpa and Grandma's Conversation before Church

religion-317.jpgGrandpa and Grandma stepped out of their car and boarded a shuttle that whisked them away to their megachurch’s main sanctuary. Both had been regular attenders of Higher Heights Church since its founding half a century before. That small congregation of thirty had grown consistently for the first twenty years before seeing an explosion of growth in the early 1980′s. Now numbers swelled to over 25,000 a week.

The shuttle arrived at the main entrance to the sanctuary, but Grandpa and Grandma didn’t go into the main auditorium. Instead, they began walking down the corridor, past the coffee shop, bookstore, and art gallery to a small chapel that seated around 250 people.

Grandpa nodded to the old faces he saw. Many of the people had been there for more than thirty years. Others were newcomers, but still welcome. The couple took their seats in the chapel. The organist began playing “Faith of our Fathers.” This was the prelude to the traditional worship service that Grandpa and Grandma were expecting.

“Where’s John tonight?” Grandpa asked, wondering about their only son.

“Oh, he’s at the worship venue in that big tent we passed along the way here,” Grandma replied.

“The outdoor one?” Grandpa asked.

“That’s the one,” Grandma nodded. “It’s the one called ‘Heavenly Stairway,’ – you know, the one with all that Classic Rock of the 70′s.”

“Oh, that’s right,” Grandpa sighed. “He always did love those bands.” After a pause, he added, “But Sarah couldn’t stand that kind of music. I wonder how he convinced her to go to that service.”

“Oh, she’s not with him,” Grandma answered, nonchalantly. “She goes over to Worship Venue 5 – the Country music one that gives line-dancing lessons after church. You know she’s lost a lot of weight since she started going over there,” she chuckled.

“What about our grandkids, Jessica and Michael?”

“Well you know. Jessica goes to the Hawaiian islands venue, and Michael likes Hip Hop Central,” Grandma reminded him. “They come to church together, split up for the services, and then meet back after Sarah’s dancing lessons are over.”

“Oh, that’s right,” Grandpa sighed, before adding under his breath, “I miss the old days.”

“You’re showing your age,” Grandma laughed. “What do you mean?”

“I miss us going to church all together.”

“We didn’t even have a good air conditioner back then,” reminded Grandma.

“I know. But we were still together.”

“I guess you are forgetting the gossip and the fighting and the bickering. Why, don’t you remember some of those arguments?”

“I wouldn’t mind having a good fight now and then,” said Grandpa.

“I’m sure that’s the Holy Spirit talking,” Grandma said sarcastically.

“There aren’t any arguments now because we’re never with anyone who’s any different than us. Just look around, sweetheart. Who’s going to argue in here?”

“Times have changed. We’ve progressed. Just look at our attendance!”

“Well, at least we still go to church together,” Grandpa smiled.

“That’s right. And we always will,” Grandma affirmed. The organist began playing louder. The service was about to begin. “Look at where we were fifty years ago,” she added.

Grandpa began thinking of all the memories, the family outings, the church picnics, the family feuds, the stuffy sanctuary. He remembered seeing old and young, senior adults next to seniors in high school, newlyweds, young couples with children, grandparents and great-grandparents – all together, lifting their voices as one. Now, as he looked out across the sea of gray hair in front of him, he couldn’t help but feel alone.

“We’ve come a long way,” smiled Grandma.

“Yes, we have,” sighed Grandpa sadly. “We’ve come a long way.”

written by Trevin Wax. © 2007 Kingdom People Blog