The Parable of Kingschurch
Once upon a time there was a city named Kingschurch. Her gates were always open to travelers and her colorful banners were seen waving high above the spires of her buildings. Those banners waved in the breeze to all who passed by as if to invite them in to explore her goods. Her beauty and hospitality were well known throughout the land.
All who visited there were welcomed with great joy and invited to make their home there, that is, if the stranger had no home. Much laughter and joy could be heard in her streets. Cheerful music wafted through her corridors and good news was always the order of the day. Kingschurch was a place of refuge for citizen and stranger alike – everyone knew her as a place of peace.
The people would often brag about their city whenever they traveled away from her. For many of them labored outside her gates in the countryside. Those people were especially proud of their King – a benevolent sovereign who always put the best interests of the people first. They loved the king so much, that they told many strangers about his valiant deeds and invited them to come and meet him personally. His chamber was always open to receiving new people.
For many years, Kingschurch was a beacon on a hill. The people of that land looked to her with admiration and vowed to visit her one day. But the citizens of Kingschurch lost their sense of wonder about their king and their fair town. They began to take what they had for granted.
One day, a dispute broke out about a neighboring group of wanderers who had set up camp outside of Kingschurch. Some of the citizens began to complain about the personal appearance of these wanderers – they didn’t wear the bright colorful uniforms that those citizens were so accustomed to wearing. “They wear the clothes of the commoners,” one man complained. “Yes, and they are dirty too,” quipped another lady.
No one was quite sure what to do about these wanderers. So they decided to visit the King regarding the matter. Some said they ought to welcome the new strangers and some said they ought to turn them away.
The king was quite intrigued by the citizen’s complaints. After listening to their concerns, he addressed the assembled crowd. “I am preparing a great feast,” proclaimed the king, “and I want everyone to come whether they are a citizen of Kingschurch or stranger. It will be a day of joy and celebration. So go to those wanderers and invite them to my banquet as well as any others you may see along the road.”
The crowd filed out of the king’s chamber. Some were mumbling under their breath; others were apathetic about the king’s feast. However, a few were excited about inviting the wanderers to the celebration. Immediately, they left to visit the camp of the wanderers to tell them the good news.
To be Continued...