One upon a time there was a young bride who left her home to be married to the Lord of the Land. On her way she fell into the hands of bandits. The bandits ripped her gown, took her money, beat her, and ran off laughing leaving her to die.
Soon two fine society ladies came along the path. They saw her lying there, and spoke to one another saying, “Isn’t that the bride of the Lord whose wedding we are going to? You’d think the Lord would be able to pick a better wife look how messy she is! Her gown is ripped and she has no money. What a fool the Lord is!” The two women walked by speaking to one another about the wedding, and the reception and paying no more attention to the Bride.
A short time latter a wealthy man walked by carrying pushing a wheel barrel stacked high with riches. He saw the Bride lying there, and recognized her as the Lord’s Bride. He bent over and told her,
“I love your groom so much! Look here at the wedding present I’ve brought for him. I’ve spent the last month crafting these fine gold plates and filled them with the finest food. I’ve labored for years crafting the finest wines and have brought him a bottle of the best of the bunch. I have even refinanced my home to buy him this famous painting and dedicated it to his honor. I have even stitched him these fine clothes by hand, in the latest fashion and crafted with the finest care.”
The bride just groaned! The man smiled and moved on toward the wedding so excited with what he would give.
After some time a beautiful young women came walking down the little road. She was fretting to herself about how she just didn’t like her outfit. The shoes, it seemed, didn’t quite fit her dress. She was worried about feeling ugly at the wedding she was going to for the Lord of the land. She saw bride lying there and noticed her shoes. “Oh my, those stilettos are just FABULOUS” she said. “You don’t mid if I borrow those for the evening?” she said. The bride made a low gurgling sound. “Thanks!” said the women. And took her shoes and walked on.
A short while later a drunk and homeless vagabond came stumbling down the path pushing a shopping cart. He saw the bride and his heart broke for her. He took off his coat and wrapped it abound her. He bandaged her wounds with strips of cloth he ripped from his shirt, and disinfected the wounds the the bottle of Bacardi 151 he had. He gathered soft grass and filled the cart. Then he placed her in it and pushed her towards the hospital as fast as he could.
Meanwhile news had reached the Lord what had happened to his Bride and he had come making all haste to retrieve her. Finding her in the care of the vagabond he took her in his arms and carried her to the wedding feast he had prepared. When all the guests had gathered round the Lord called the homeless vagabond to sit at the head table right next to him, and when the time to give a toast had come the Lord got us and spoke saying. This man beside me has shown me the greatest love.
Some of you seeing the brokenness of my bride thought you should defend my honor by scorning her brokenness. Others thought you could love me by showering me with all you had, even if that meant others would have none. Still more have come showing off their own splendor, taking from those that could serve them even my bride. Only this man beside me though has truly shown me love. For he has given what he has to love the one I adore.
So what do you think.... If you hadn't guessed this is a parable about the Church. Think about your own life.
Give me some thoughts!