Scott's Weekly Greeting, January 26, 2021 ...
You may be familiar with the old folk tale about the blind men and the elephant. It goes something like this:
An elephant arrived in a remote village, and the villagers were all very excited. In the village, there lived several men without eyesight. None of them had ever experienced an elephant, and they went "see" it. The men gathered around the elephant and laid their hands upon it.
The first one explored the elephant's trunk with his hands. He told the others that the elephant was like a large snake.
One of the others had his hands upon one of the legs. He told the others that the elephant was more like a large tree.
The third man touched one of the elephant's ears, and he told the others that the creature was large and flat like a fan.
The fourth man put his hands on the elephant's side and said the the beast was as big and solid as a wall.
The fifth man felt the elephant's tail and said that the beast was thin and quick like a rope.
The men were all correct and they were all incorrect ... or should I say incomplete. They all accurately described what they experienced, but none of them was able to describe the true shape or nature of the elephant.
Jesus used parables to describe the Kingdom of God to his listeners. He used images and illustrations that were familiar to the people of the day. He used stories to which they could relate. There is no account of Jesus telling his followers that the Kingdom of God is like an elephant. But it is.
Many people in the world experience bits and pieces of the Kingdom. One person might encounter the Kingdom of God as they sit in worship. Another person might encounter it in the compassion of a helping hand. A third might experience the Kingdom of God in a visit when they are grieving. And a fourth might have touched the Kingdom at summer camp.
Just like the elephant, all of those experiences are part of the Kingdom of God, but they do not give the full picture. However, each and every part is important to the whole.
The moral of the story is this ... we are all a part of the elephant. We all embody a part of the Kingdom of God. The people that we meet and those with whom we interact all have the opportunity to experience a part of the Kingdom of God through us. All of who we are and the things that we do can help others to see, touch and feel God. Be faithful in your loving service so that others may see a glimmer of God in you.
Congregational ChurchUCC, SACO MAINE12 BEACH STREET | SACO, ME 04072