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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Shopping (03/01/07)

TITLE: Sermon on the Mall
By Al Boyce
03/07/07


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And in those days, there was a shopping mall where Jesus and His disciples paused to address the multitudes.

Jesus spokes in parables, so that even the lowliest shopper would understand.

"The Kingdom of God," He said, "is like a shopping cart full of purchases that is let free on a sloping parking lot and dents the door of a BMW."

His disciples widened their eyes and nudged one another with their elbows, not understanding.

Jesus, sensing their thoughts, explained thusly: "The shopping cart is your faith -- rolling on shaky wheels. Its contents are your foolish ideas about hedging your faith with works. Overburdened with those ideas, the cart can only do damage to whatever it encounters, even those who are rich in faith."

"The Kingdom of God," He went on, "is like an after-Thanksgiving sale."

Again the disciples were mystified, so Jesus continued: "You find out about the sale at the last minute, get up early and stand in a long line only to be told when you reach the door that the last sale item is gone. And there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth."

"Teacher ... " began one disciple.

"Not now, I'm on a roll," Jesus replied.

"The Kingdom of man is like the waterfall in the middle of a large shopping mall."

Not waiting for the rolling eyes of His disciples this time, Jesus continued: "A waterfall SHOULD be the free outpouring of obedient service to God. But THIS waterfall is false. It is chlorinated, blue-tinted water recycled with electric pumps to give the APPEARANCE of an outflow when, in fact, it feeds only itself."

Jesus took a long drink from a styrofoam cup and straightened His shoulders to launch another parable. Only then, too late, did the disciples realize the cup was full of Mountain Dew.

"Behold, a merchant went out to advertise. He dropped some sales flyers by the road and others were taken by the wind and still others fell in the hands of wealthy shoppers. But an enemy put sales fliers from a competing store among them and it was a store selling leaven and lamps. So many virgins, hoping to build dowries, flocked to the second store. Some came in the morning and some in the afternoon and some in the evening, but the store owner gave each the same silver pattern. The silver they gladly sold in exchange for the gift certificate of great value they found hidden at the mall.

"The first merchant was displeased that no one came to his store and opened the doors to everyone, even those who were searching for lost sheep and coins. But when one shopper refused to put on the free T-shirt she acquired at the door, she was thrown out into the alley behind the store."

The disciples gently took Christ aside and explained the effects of too much caffeine to a jittery Jesus.

He nodded wisely, as if to say that, once again, they had underestimated Him.

"If anyone has ears to hear," He said, "let him hear.


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This article has been read 1079 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marilee Alvey03/08/07
Witty....imaginative...and creative. What can I say, besides, you've got what it takes! Congratulations on putting the Sermon on the Mount in everyday language. I hope you're not thinking of writing a new Bible translation...are you? Wonderful job!
Venice Kichura03/09/07
Super creative entry!
Leigh MacKelvey03/11/07
Witty and clever, clever! I loved the while concept and could see Jesus "on his roll"!
How did you ever come up with this idea!
Jan Ackerson 03/12/07
This is AWESOME!
Tiffany Secula03/14/07
Very creative and good use of parables. My favorite was the one using the waterfall. The funniest has got to be the shopping cart though. I really enjoyed reading this.
Sandra Petersen 03/14/07
Okay, Al, I'm sitting here laughing out loud as I read this, my daughters wondering what is so funny. In fact, they are hiding from what they think is a mother suddenly separated from her senses.

The parable of the false waterfall made me pause and think, though. For some reason, that one will stay with me for a while.

This was too funny, but with great messages, although the last parable is one I have to think about for a long while. Was Jesus starting to lose it?

Terrific job, Al.
Sandra Petersen 03/14/07
Happy to report that I got the last parable on my second reading through!
Sara Harricharan 03/14/07
Too funny! You had me laughing all the way through this. I like the thought of being in a shopping mall and preaching a sermon. You did good with the comparisons of the sales (after Thanksgiving sale) and with the shopping cart and BMW. Excellent message delivered with humor...nice touch with the Mountain Dew. ^_^
Jen Davis03/14/07
Funny, creative and very clever! You had me laughing at the ...shopping cart full of purchases that is let free on a sloping parking lot and dents the door of a BMW." Excellent from beginning to end.
Joanne Sher 03/14/07
What a RIOT! I couldn't figure out your hint, so I am SO glad you threw a brick! I am sure you had an absolute blast writing this- hopefully at least as much fun as I had reading it!
Julie Arduini03/14/07
This was FUN. I loved the Kingdom of God is like an after Thanksgiving sale. I can just see the folks drawing in closer to hear more...
Catrina Bradley 03/15/07
Oh oh oh, my sides hurt! When I read this, "Not now, I'm on a roll," Jesus replied. I burst out laughing and never stopped. DE-lightful! (I was supposed to not get the last parable, told after too muh caffine, right? :) ) A winner for me! Now I must go dry my eyes.