Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Kings Counselor And The Feast of Tongues. A Parable based on James 3

I told this parable to my Sunday School Class. We were covering the tongue from the Epistle of James. I hope it gives you much to think about. 

     An ancient king wanted to be at peace with neighboring kings and invited them to a peace conference where they could sign treaties for alliances and trade. 

 The King had an old wise trusted counselor and they often walked through the palace gardens together discussing ideas, truths, philosophies and politics.
     "Wise one." Said the king as they walked together.
     "Yes king."
     "I want to celebrate the beginning of this opportunity for peace with a banquet for the Kings who have come. I want you to take the servants to the market and buy for the feast. I know it is a humble task and not worthy of my wisest counselor but I want you to make sure that only the best is bought for the feast. Only the best, nothing inferior, or of second caliber. It must be a message to all who eat at the banquet of the opportunity and hope this conference brings."
     "Yes King, I will ensure only the best is bought for the banquet."

     The Wise One led the servants to the market and stopped at the first booth. It was the booth of the ones who butchered sheep.
     "I will have all the tongues of the sheep you have butchered."
     "Strange," thought the servants as they filled the baskets of sheep tongues.
     Next was the stall of the bird keeper, and here too the Wise One stopped and made a purchase. "I want all the tongues of the birds you have butchered."
     The servants looked at each other and wondered.
     The next booth was the butcher of cattle. The servants watched as the Wise Counselor stopped and spoke to the merchant. "I want cow tongues and steer tongues, all that you have."  Just so, the Wise One went trough the market place stopping at one both after another buying only tongues. 

     The cooks wondered at the cartload of tongues the servants brought to the palace kitchens, yet performed wonders and placed before the assembled kings an unforgettable feast of tongues. Tongues were fried, sauteed, boiled, cooked on spits, and over coals, and every imaginable way.
     The King was pleased and yet confused. Afterward he called the Wise One into the feast room.
     "Wise One. My brothers, the kings at table here, have enjoyed a most remarkable feast of tongues. Was there no other meat in the market place?"
     "Yes, Your Majesty. The market place is rich with bounty."
     "Did I not ask you to buy only the best for our feast tonight."
     "Yes your majesty. You did; and that is what I have put before you. The best."
     "Wise One. How is the tongue the best?"
     "Because with the tongue we speak, we proclaim truth, we declare love, we sing songs, we make treaties of peace and we praise God in heaven. Therefore the tongue is the most noble of all organs."
     All the kings at the feast table nodded their heads in understanding of the wisdom of the Wise One.

     The next day the king and the wise one again enjoyed the beauties of sunrise in the royal gardens, and the king sighed.
     "Wise one, the treaties and alliances are going badly. Our peace conference may beak up on the steel of sword edge. I want to send an object lesson to my brother kings tonight."
     "An excellent idea King."
     Today, I want you to go to the market place again and buy for the feast. This time you must only buy the worst, the very worst, no thing that is good or noble but only the most vile will be set before the kings for the feast tonight. This will tell the kings of the dangers of failing to reach a peace treaty between us."

     The Wise One led the servants to the market where they stopped at the first booth. "Have you any sheep or goat tongues left?" the Wise One asked.  The servants looked at each other in wonder. At the next booth the Wise One bought tongues of ducks and peacocks. At the next booth the Wise One bought the tongues of pigs, hogs and piglets. Just so he went through the market place buying all the tongues from all the merchants.

     "Again?" Said the cooks when the servants brought the tongues to the palace kitchens.  The cooks made an exceptional feast with tongues soup, and baked tongue pie, tongue in wine sauce and many more dishes.
     The king's guest wondered why they were having another feast of tongues and looked at the king.

     "Bring the Wise One to our feast." The king announced standing up shaking in anger.
     "Yes, king." said the Wise One.
     "Did you understand my instructions? I commanded you to buy only the worst for the feast, but here you bring us tongues which you taught us yesterday eve was the most noble of organs."

     "You are right my king. I brought you tongues yesterday and explained it was the most noble of organs. But, today I have brought to you the worst. For with the tongue we argue and tell lies, with the tongue we sue others and make war and with the tongue we curse God. Therefore the tongue is the worst organ of all."

"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be." James 3 9,10, NIV.

(C)Adron Dozat