A PARABLE OF THE CHURCH
The church felt called to venture out to spread the Word of God. It determined that it should journey down to the world of Jericho. Along the way, it fell among thieves of ego, greed, fear, institution building, doctrinal purity, competition and many others who beat it, robbed it, and tore its body apart leaving it wounded beside the worldly road.
THE CHURCH WE SEE
Along came some priests, some of whom had been schooled in the latest theology, and some who had learned the latest techniques in attracting a large community of spiritual seekers. They looked at the wounded church, shook their heads in dismay, and passed by on the other side on their way to building the best religious community ever.
Then came some Scribes schooled in Scriptural quotes and spiritual laws drawn from their careful study of the original languages of Scripture. They too passed by on the other side even as they shared their sadness at the corruption of the church compromised by the forces of the larger society.
Then came some spiritual but not religious organizers who despaired at the insensitivity of government, churches, businesses and educational institutions to work together to improve the community. They saw the wounded church lying beside the road. While the church’s body seemed almost torn apart, they recognized a heartbeat of hope and a breath of tradition that believed there was a divine intention for a world God called good.
AN ACT OF COMPASSION
They applied some Band-Aids of wine and fed the church with some dried bread left from their hurried lunch. They agreed to carry the wounded body to a deteriorating synagogue down the road and offered the rabbi some of their meager funds to care for this almost forgotten cousin of the faith.
They continued on in their journey to repair the world with their organizing skills but often spoke to each other about the church they had left behind. While they weren’t sure that they believed in God, they wondered about the heartbeat of hope and the small breath of tradition that seemed to speak to them of a greater truth than their worldly wisdom. Maybe they should revisit the church sometime in the future and see if rabbinic compassion and some wine and bread had revived it.
WHAT IS GOD DOING?
Perhaps the starving world awaits the revived community bonded by God’s love that refuses to defeated by the sins of humanity.