Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Christmas Bailout?

Can you identify the stories’ fallacy? Are the author’s parallels accurate? What do you think of this story? Read it to your children. Who pays the cost of the political bailout? Who paid for our bailout from sin? Please post your families comments after you discuss this article. Challenge Tutors may want to discuss this post in seminar.

The star? It leads to the big bailout …
By Jody Seymour, Special to the Observer, Posted: Thursday, Dec. 18, 2008

   A long time ago and just beyond a galaxy really far, far away:
   “I have looked this deal over and it is not only an act of desperation, it is also foolish.” Gabriel was insistent as he usually was. He was the only one who could get away with speaking to God like this. The other members of the celestial court would not even think of approaching God in this manner.
   “I mean with the knowledge you have… remember you are all that omniscient, all-powerful, all knowing being that everyone is always talking about … you ought to know better. You've given them a place to live, a guide for living, and even sent them all those prophets and what did it get you? Now you offer them this bailout package. They'll waste it just like they've squandered everything you've given them before. They haven't learned much of anything. For God's sake…you know for ‘your' sake…let them fail. It is the only way they'll ever learn.”
   Forget payback
   “Gabe, why don't you take a pill or something. Go badger some angels and leave me to my thoughts.” God sort of liked going back and forth with his sidekick.
   “And look at this. Look at the cost. How will they ever pay you back? I know the answer to that. They won't. They'll misuse what you give them, just like they've done for…well…forever.”
   “Gabriel not only am I going to do this, you're going to be the one to tell them I'm going to do it.”
   “No way. I'm not going to be an accomplice in such a hare-brain scheme.” Gabriel said this even though he knew it was pointless to resist the divine mandate.
   “Hush up and get on with it. I've picked a young girl named Mary. Is she ever going to be surprised! No one is expecting me to do it this way, especially her. She will not understand but I'll bet she'll agree. I've watched her grow up. Mary is such a dear one and she'll go along with the impossible.”
   “Impossible is what you are. When are you ever going to get this creation thing right? Aren't you in charge? I told you all along that you gave those creatures of yours too much of the freedom thing. They can't manage it.”
   Poor morals!
   “Gabriel,” … God only used Gabe's full name when the conversation was about to be over and things were settled… “Go tell Mary she is going to have a baby.”
   “A baby, she's not even married, for heaven's sake. What will people think? This is a heck of way to start out. It is not even good morals.”
   “It's something I've never done before. I like novelty, remember. Besides, it makes for a really good story that I bet they'll tell over and over.”
   “It's nothing but a bailout. It's a waste. They don't deserve it and you know it.”
   “Of course I know it. Now go tell Mary. I can't wait to see the look on her face. And by the way as you go, ‘Merry Christmas, Gabe.'”
   “Merry what?…I thought you said her name was Mary.”
   “Well, I am getting ahead of myself but even I get excited once in a while. Just go do what I said and forget the Merry Christmas thing for now.”
   Wasting resources
   “I still think you're wasting your resources, but as you probably already know, Not my will but thine be done.”
   “Hey, that's a good line, Gabe. I'll save it for later…”
   God reached up and pulled close a distant star. “I think I'll use this one to help them find him.”
God laughed as Gabe's presence slipped beyond sight, “The star can be part of the bailout package.”

Jody Seymour is senior pastor at Davidson United Methodist Church in Davidson.

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