Pastor Linda's Message Blog

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Pastor Linda

Connecting - October 2018

 

A Parable



Several of you asked for a copy of the parable I told in church recently. Because I believe a good story is worth repeating, I have included it here:

Once upon a time, a palace servant desperately wanted to be a knight. He yearned to represent his king and vowed that if ever became a knight; he would serve as the noblest knight who ever lived. The servant practiced the skills of knighthood day and night, until finally his dream came true!

The former servant, now a knight, made a solemn oath to himself that he would neither bow his knees nor lift his arms in homage to anyone but his king. The knight’s post was to guard a remote city at the very edge of the kingdom.

On the day he took up his duties, standing at attention in full armor at the city gate, an old peasant woman passed by on her way to the market. She pushed a rickety cart filled with vegetables she had grown and hoped to sell. As she passed the knight, her cart hit a bump in the road and turned over. Potatoes, onions, and carrots spilled everywhere. The peasant woman scurried to get them all back in her cart.

She looked toward the knight in hopes he would help her, but he had forgotten what it was to be a servant. The knight stood there, unmoved, holding his pose and keeping his vow never to bow his knees or lift his arms in homage to anyone but his king.

....Years passed, and one day an old man hobbled by on his crutch. The crutch gave out and broke in two. "Sir knight," the man begged, "please reach down and help me up." The knight, unmoved by the old man’s predicament, held his pose and remembered his vow never to bow his knees or lift his arms in homage to anyone but his king.

Decades passed, and the knight grew older. One day his granddaughter came by and said, “Papa, take me to the fair.” But the knight would not bend down even for his granddaughter, for within himself he had made a vow to bow only to his king.

Finally, the day arrived when the king came to visit the town. The knight stood proudly and stiffly at attention as the king inspected him. The king noticed a tear rolling down the proud knight’s armor. “" are one of my noblest knights," said the king, "Why are you crying?"

"Your majesty," the knight replied, "I took a vow that I would never bow my knees or lift my arms in homage to anyone but you alone, but now that you are here, I am an old man unable to keep my vow any more. The years of standing here stiffly at attention have taken their toll. The joints of my armor are rusted, and I can no longer bend my knees or lift my arms."

The wise king replied, "Perhaps if you had knelt to help all those people who passed you by, and lifted your arms to all who asked, you would have been able to keep your vow to pay me homage today."

It is a parable about the church … what if, the church is the knight and the king is Jesus. What if, the church stands stiffly at attention waiting for the King to arrive and forgets it is a servant, the actual hands and feet of the King. It is a warning for the church not to become a stiff sentinel standing on legalisms, and forgetting grace.

We are ones that shape the direction of the church. May we never become so stiff that we cannot bend our knees or lift our arms for others,
Pastor Linda

 

palace servant

knight

vegetable cart

 

old man hobbling by

granddaughter

crown tear

 

 

 

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