On the Shores of Vietnam: A Modern Day Parable (2)

Not long ago, I heard a story of a Vietnamese leader of a city.  His son was getting married and he wanted to throw a huge party for him.  He owned a huge vineyard, and gave his hired hands the day off to hand out invitations to all his friends and family.

The servants passed out over a thousand invitations, but the majority of them called and said they couldn’t make it.  One of his servants was even mistreated by the people he invited.  They began to beat him with a baseball bat.

The leader was so angry at the shame brought on his family that he called up one of the ruling military junta.  He showed the junta the list of guests he had invited to the party and said he would provide $100 for each head brought to him dead.  The city was in an uproar as the junta descended upon the city.

All of the thousand people on the list were found and brought out to the public square.  Their families were forced to watch with their eyes forced open as the military shot them through the head and burned down their houses.  All of them were found and the military junta made $100,000 in fees from the rich leader.

“I will show them how it feels to be rejected and truly shamed,” the leader replied after he had given the junta their pay.  “I will bring in the disgraced and the downtrodden.  They will come to my son’s wedding and then all those who should have come, but didn’t, will be left outside in the cold.”

And it was so.

The servants brought the homeless, the destitute, and the sick to his son’s wedding.  One woman was angered to see that the leader of the city had brought a convicted rapist into the party and a convicted drug dealer.  He opened up the jails and let the worst criminals, the ones who had raped and sexually abused children, sit in the front row.  This was the way the leader of the city.  They had all been given the best clothes to wear, no matter what they had done.

Suddenly, however, he noticed that one man was still dressed in filthy clothes.

“What are you doing here?” the leader of the city asked.

The man said nothing.

“You dare to come into my son’s wedding without proper attire?  Get OUT!”

And at that the servants grabbed him and through him out into the cold.

This is like the kingdom of heaven.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

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