A Street Prophet’s Parable

One day as the street prophet was teaching the bums on the empty lot behind the liquor store about how the “empire” robs people of their God-given imagination and capacity to explore His loving reign over creation, and as he used this line of reasoning to explain how it is that they find no room at the church on cold winter nights, the bums felt invigorated by his words, but they lacked comprehension.  His dialogue was peppered with the word “empire” over and over again, but the bums had never heard such teaching before.  It was curious to them, but some simply did not understand.

Finally, one of the brothers spoke up and asked, “What do you mean by ’empire’, and how does it rob us of our imagination?  I don’t feel robbed of mine.”

The prophet answered with a question, “Did you ever hear the story about the high school student sitting in a lecture in his public school History class who raised her hand to interrupt the teacher and ask, ‘So if this Christianity was so deeply influential on modern civilization and so many of the important institutions that we take for granted, like hospitals, prisons, and major charitable organizations, then why don’t you tell us more about this religious faith behind it all?'”

At this point, the bums listening to the street prophet all looked at each other a moment and back at the prophet expecting him to tell such a story, and as they sat there blinking in a moment of cognitive dissonance, the prophet asked, “… and why not?

One comment

  1. T. F. Thompson · August 25, 2019

    Jesus is and church is not. God is and we are not. The empire is everywhere and it’s outside of God’s world. Even the ‘bums’ know God is not there and take it for granted. It is only we Christians who claim God’s empire is within the church. No wonder we are all lost. Prophet or not.


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