A few days ago I was interviewed by a journalist about my involvement with refugees–we met as a result of a seminar I had given to people who want to help refugees.
Among other things we touched on migration and the causes for it. “The world would be a better place without religion” he said. “Anyway, all religions are just the same.”
Ever since this meeting I have been pondering how to explain to a post-modern world that that is definitely not the case! Here is my first try: a modern—and not particularly politically correct—parable:
Imagine two important individuals asking two young fellows if they would pick up someone from the train station on their behalf. The first young guy takes off time from work, fills up his car with petrol and is at the station at the appropriate time. The second fellow, however, is given time off work as well as the important individual’s private car, already filled with petrol. He too successfully carries out his task.
The first driver is not sure whether his expenses will be reimbursed. He has never actually seen the man of influence nor heard his voice directly. He obeyed the instructions delivered to him hoping to curry future favour from the “big man” who, he believes, holds the keys to his destiny.
The second driver did not incur any expenses; all he needed to fulfill his task was provided by the one who wanted the job done. On his return from the station he meets the important individual and enjoys a friendly chat with him. He does not seek favours nor is he afraid about his future destiny. After all, he is the man’s son and heir. He is secure in his relationship with his Father.
The Bible says: “So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Gal 4:7, ESV)