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« Together | Main | The Offense of Christ »

A Parable of a Great Meeting

A certain man had five sons.  The blessing of the Lord was upon them and they grew in stature and favor with the people.  The father and mother had established a tradition among them that at Christmastide, every member of the family would meet together for a great feast and to enjoy each other’s company.  The father and the mother were exceedingly pleased with this special day of the year.

And it came to pass that each son found a wife and were blessed with children of their own.  For a time, the tradition was honored among them to return home and celebrate Christmastide.  Their father and mother were overjoyed to see them and to rejoice over the children whom the Lord added to their family.  Each year, the father spoke words of wisdom and encouragement to his sons and their families.  Each of them also greatly encouraged their father and also showed their love each to the other.

But one year, one of the sons made it known that he could not return for the celebration.  He had planted a crop and could not leave it unattended.  Soon, another son also revealed that he could not participate in the feast, for he said that the journey was too far and that he could not pay for the expenses.  It followed that a third son sent word to his father that he would not come because he lost his love for the feast and that he wanted to separate himself unto his own friends.  A fourth son did not impart knowledge to others that he would not attend, but it was heard that he refused to come because the last feast was disappointing and he received nothing for his efforts to attend. 

The father and mother prepared a great feast for all of their offspring, but only one son and his family came to pay respect to his parents and receive wise and comforting words.  He and his family were exceedingly blessed for they received not only the part of the inheritance that was coming to him but also was given that which was intended for his brethren.

And it came to pass that each of the sons who did not continue to attend the feast had sons and daughters of his own.  Each one established his own tradition and welcomed his family to come and enjoy the blessings of God with him and their mother.  Howbeit, in due season, each of their sons and daughters also refused to come to the feast that was prepared for them.  Each of them cried unto the Lord and pleaded with their families to return to them for one day out of the year.  Their pleas fell on deaf years, however, and the bond between them was broken.  The rest of the history of their families is not known because there was no one who cared enough to record the acts of their fathers.  To this day, there are legends and tales that are told about the great family, but name of the family is lost among the names of the people of the world.

Only one great word is known that was spoken by the great father of the clan.  He said, “My children came to receive, but they did not come to give.  For they said each to the other, ‘It is more blessed to receive than to give.’  They did not understand that I called then together so that they could give love, strength and fellowship to each other.  Because their understanding of this great purpose was darkened, I alone was blessed when they came because I came to give!”

This is a personal and unsolicited appeal for everyone to attend General Conference UPCI, September 30 - October 3, 2014.  Come to give, financially if you can, but more importantly, give yourself.  We need each other!


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