Monday, 1 December 2008

From the mouth of babes!

I told my kids a story over dinner and asked them what it meant. It was a story about a master who had three slaves. He told the slaves he was going away for a while, but would be back. He gave the first slave £5 and told him to invest the money while he was gone.

I says, "What do you mean, invest the money?"

I told him that if someone needs money you can lend them the money, but they don't give you back what you lent them. They give you back more.

Immediately, I could see I's face. He seemed incredulous. "Does that still happen now?"

"Yes", I said, "that's how we get money if we need it".

"That's not fair."

"What do you think they should do instead?"

"They should give them the money if they need it."

"Or, they could just ask them to pay back what they borrowed and not ask for more?", I suggest

"Yes", he replied.

Anyway, I carried on with the story. I said that he went to the 2nd slave and gave him £2 to invest and the third slave £1 to invest.

"He's got favourites", said C.

"Anyway", I said, trying to carry on the story, "when he returned the 1st slave said that he had invested it and made an extra £5. The master said that he was a good and faithful servant. The 2nd slave said that he had earned an extra £2. The master said that he was a good and faithful servant. The 3rd slave said that he knew the master was cruel and harsh, so he he buried the £1 he had been given. The master sent him out to be punished."

"So, what's the story about?"

"I think he's greedy", says C.

"He's just interested in taking poor people's money", says I

"and he has favourites", says C.

"I think the story is about the situation now," says I.

I couldn't help thinking that two kids hearing the story afresh so instinctively get what the story is about, whilst theologians have got their knickers in a twist about strange interpretations because they can't help thinking Jesus is the master. For some interesting debate about its meaning see here.

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