Friday, November 23, 2007

Of pots, pans, and parables

The pots and pans have been washed. The good china and special-occasion serving plates wait on the dining room table to be put away. Containers of leftovers crowd the refrigerator... The boys and their friends are watching a comedy and laughing uproariously. Jude, the visiting betta splendens, has survived his first day at our house. Here's what he looks like.

Had a great time watching Godspell again after dinner. Someone put the entire movie --in 12 parts-- on YouTube. Must be a violation of copyright, so if you feel like reminiscing, better get to napoholic's page fast.

"That's so hippy!" exclaimed my almost-20-year-old, as he watched scenes from the movie for the first time on my laptop screen.
Godspell came out 36 years ago ... I was his age, and many of us were filled with a spirit of rebellion but also with an intense idealism. Peace...love...dreams of a better world. So what happened?

I'm reminded of the parable of the sower, which Jesus tells and the ragtag band of disciples act out:

A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear....

Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. (Matt 13: 1-9, 18-23)
Many of us heard the message of peace and of a more just world, but then "the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth" caused us to forget our idealism...and now peace on earth seems farther out of reach than ever. As Peters Lems of AFSC once said, peace will come not when we want it badly enough but when we've done enough.

Time to become that good soil. Time to hear the word again and understand it.

1 comment:

  1. Godspell! - that takes me back... I had the original london stage production version on vinyl record when i was a young teen... never seen the movie though. thanks for the link :)

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