Monday Ministerial Musings
By Rev. Mark William Ennis
2021 Blog Number 23
June 7, 2021
A Parable For Today
A family had lived in their home all their lives. Before them, their forebearers had lived in the same home on the same land. The family, their ancestors and members of their tribe had inhabited this space for more than a thousand years. They had prospered and lived in, at least relative harmony, with other people and other tribes that lived in the same region.
The family, and their tribe lived differently than their neighbors. Their language was different. Many of the tribe learned two languages to relate to those outside of the group. Likewise, their customs and religion were different from those around them. In past generations no one seemed to notice, or at least did not care. They were different but there was a reciprocal respect, or at least, tolerance.
A new political will and reality had swept the world outside their tribe. Others, with whom they had lived peacefully, were now hostile. The tribe, and the individuals in it, were now blamed for the hardships that had happened to those outside the tribe. In short, they were scapegoated and now military authorities with dangerous weapons, and armed with official, and legal papers, stood outside the family’s door demanding that they leave. Indeed, the entire tribe was now forced to abandon the home and land of their ancestors and coerced into living in a new place; one that was selected for them and all of their tribe. There was no legal help to be had. A democratically elected government had issued the orders and allowed the armed men to force out the tribe members.
Those removed cried as they left homes, land, possessions and memories. They were in dis-belief that elected politicians would allow this to happen. Many tribe members died on the trip to the new home. The conditions in the new home was harsh and many died there as well.
This forced removal is a stain on the civilized world. Who were these people who evicted and who were evicted?
Were these people the Cherokees who were forced by the United States into the Trail of Tears and onto reservations?
Were these people Jews living in Easter Europe who were forced out of their homes and into death camps by the Nazis?
Were these Japanese Americans who were forced into internment camps during World War II?
Were these people Palestinians who are being evicted from East Jerusalem and the West Bank by the Israeli government?
Does this parable apply to all of these scenarios listed above? In my mind, it does. It saddens me that the “good guys” acted the same way as the “bad guys” in each of these circumstances. I hope we take some time to contemplate this.
To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book:https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/