Friday, 9 September 2011

The parable of the builder

A builder was told to go to Swansea and build a new church. He was to spare no expense as it was to be a special church, the best church he could build. To start him off on his task his boss gave him a foundation stone made of pure gold.

When he arrived in Swansea the builder began to gather materials to build the church but instead of going to the usual merchants he trawled scrapyards, junk heaps and rubbish tips for damaged bricks, cracked glass and rotted wood. Other builders in Swansea who’d heard rumours about this new special church laughed at him but he just smiled and kept on collecting the bricks rejected by everyone else.

Then he began to build the church. First he put in place the foundation stone his boss had given him. Then he carefully laid down bricks cementing them together with patience; he glued the glass back together with care; and he repaired the wood with love.

As the church took on its shape the other builders laughed even more because from the outside it looked shabby and marred. But anyone who ventured inside found it to be more magnificent than the cathedrals of old, full of precious stones, diamonds and rubies, emeralds and sapphires, that sparkled and shone in the glow of the foundation stone.

The parable of the black sheep and the shepherd

There was a flock of sheep. Most of them enjoyed life but not all of them were happy.

There was a black sheep. All the other sheep made fun of him because he was different.
An ugly sheep was fed up of being told by the other sheep that he was useless and good for nothing.
A sheep who’d spent most of his life in a pen struggled to fit in with the others. None of them trusted him and wouldn’t let him play with them.
A sheep who had been wounded couldn’t keep up with the other sheep and was always being left behind.
One of the sheep liked to travel from place to place. The other sheep thought he was mad and turned their backs on him whenever he turned up.

The shepherd didn’t give a monkeys about the sad sheep and the rejected sheep; he only cared about the size of his flock.

But one day another shepherd appeared and he knew the black sheep, the ugly sheep, the one who couldn’t fit in, the one who’d been hurt and the one who was only there sometimes and he called them by name.

And they left the flock and followed him to a place where the ground was level and all sheep were accepted.