THE POWER OF STORY: AN EASTER PARABLE
I can remember an Easter sermon that my pastor preached, it must be almost 30 years ago by now. In that sermon my pastor used an illustration of a young boy and some birds in a cage. The illustration and the truth it conveyed has never left me. Oh, the power of story when it comes to describing something beyond human comprehension!
The story goes like this, (from what I remember anyway), a young boy was walking down a street carrying a bird cage with two small ordinary birds. The boy passed a man along his path at which point the man questioned the boy, “Son where did you get those birds?”. The boy answered, “I bought them at a yard sale. The people were moving and decided to sell the birds”. “How nice” the man said. The man further inquired, “So you like birds, well enjoy your new pets”. “Oh they’re not my pets” said the boy, “and I really don’t like birds” the boy continued. “Well”, said the man “why did you buy them?”. “Oh I am going to tease them, pull out their feathers, you know, have some fun with them” the boy said.
The man disturbed by what the boy intended to do asked, “How much did you pay for them?”. “Five dollars.” the boy exclaimed.
At which point the man said, “Will you sell them to me for twenty dollars?”. “Sure, but that’s a lot of money for just a couple of dumb birds”, the boy said rather excitedly. The man without hesitation bought the birds from the young boy. As they were departing the young boy asked, “What are you gonna do with those dumb old birds anyway?” The man answered, “When I get home I am going to open the cage and free them so that they can fly high.” “Why would you pay twenty dollars just do that? They’re just a couple of dumb birds”, the boy said unbelievingly. “Well I don’t see them as just a couple of dumb birds I see them as they were meant to be, free and flying high” the man said.
We do not know if the man’s words effected the young boy or not. But what we do know is that a couple of ordinary birds found a new freedom that day and lived the rest of their lives as their maker intended them.
Sometimes parables speak powerful truths! The mystery of Easter can never be fully grasped though human understanding alone. But, what we can know is a love so deep that it enter human form, suffered and died, to pay the price for our freedom. The words of Charles Wesley’s beloved hymn, Christ the Lord is Risen Today, come to mind;
Soar we now where Christ has led, Al-le-lu-ia!
Following our exalted head, Al-le-lu-ia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Al-le-lu-ia!
Hail the Resurrection thou, Al-le-lu-ia!
The price has been paid, which enables us to enter a divine realm and be raised with Jesus Christ!
Christ is Risen! Indeed! We are freed from the torments of sin and death. Love makes us soar high and free. That’s what God intends us to be!