Retellings of Parables for the Modern Day

Hullo, friends! At the beginning of this school semester I decided to try and blog more this school year, since I hardly blogged at all last year, and September went by with a total of two posts. Whoops. So since I’m low on time for actually writing posts, I thought I’d look through some older short stories and such. While I was doing that, I remembered my New Testament class assignment where I rewrote two parables to make them more relatable to modern audiences. They were fun to write, so I thought I would share them with you guys. I’ve also included links to the original parables. Hope you enjoy!

The Parable of the Two Roommates

Original: The Parable of the Two Sons

“What do you think? There was an RA who had two students who were rooming together. She went to the first and said, ‘Hey, can you clean your room? It’s gotten too messy.’

“‘Sorry, it’s not my turn,’ the first roommate replied, but later she decided to clean anyway.

“The RA went to the other roommate and asked her the same thing. She said, ‘Sure!’, but she didn’t do it.

“Now which of these did what the RA asked?”

“The first,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “The criminals and sinners will enter the Kingdom of God before you. John came to show you how to be righteous, and you didn’t believe them, but the criminals and sinners did. Even after you saw that, you didn’t repent and believe him.”

 

The Parable of the Lost Child

Original: The Parable of the Lost Sheep

Now the criminals and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But several Bible scholars muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Then Jesus told them this parable: “What if one of you is at a camp with a hundred children and one of them wanders off? Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine behind to look for the lost child until you find him? And when you find him, you would take him back, relieved. Then you would call the other counselors together and say, ‘I found him!’ Similarly, there will be more celebration in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who don’t need to repent.

What do you think? Enjoy? Have you ever thought about rewriting a parable in modern-day context? Comment below with your thoughts!

Musings of Avarice

I wrote this story for a Faithwriters.com challenge with the topic of Greed. It got third place in my category! I’d love to hear what you think! 😀 Read some of my other stories on Faithwriters here.

My name is Avarice. I was born greedy, my daddy said. Took my momma’s life when I came out. My name was my momma’s dyin’ wish after she gave birth to me. My daddy said, years ago, that she’d probably heard it somewhere and didn’t know that it meant greed. I must say, over the years it’s become fittin’. Everyone says I’m the greediest person they’ve ever met.

How can I not be greedy? Greed defines my life.

Greed defines everyone’s life.

Sometimes I’ll laugh in people’s faces when they say that I’m nothin’ but a greedy, miserly old woman. They judge me, but they don’t see how greedy they themselves have been. I’ve lived long on this lousy earth, and I know for a fact that greed don’t just control my life, it controls everyone’s life.

I’ve seen people ruinin’ other people’s lives, eliminatin’ other people’s lives, just for greed. And I’ve seen –

Put down those cookies. They’re mine.

Now, where was I… I know what you’re thinkin’. You’re thinkin’ that some people ain’t quite so bad. I’ve heard you say those Christian do-gooders ain’t greedy. Listen here, I’ve seen Christians doin’ their greedy things right along with the rest of us. I’ve even seen some murder people. There are a few good ones; they’re the ones I admire. Resistin’ greed is one of the toughest things out there, hon. But mostly, they pretend they’re all high and mighty, actin’ better than the rest of us, even though they ain’t. They’re doin’ the same things we are, bein’ greedy for more just like we are.

Greed can make even the best of people evil. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. You may be thinkin’ of a greedy person you know, and let me tell you you’re just as bad as that person. Greed can make even a perfectly innocent person like myself and turn them into someone like Fred in the room next door. He stole my green beans at lunch. Greed leads to worse sins. Somethin’ I remember from the one time I went to church – a mighty long time ago, let me tell you – was something about how if you broke one commandment, you was breakin’ them all. Let me tell you, greed can sure do that.

Wait, you’re leavin’ so soon? Ah, yes, I’m sure you have much better things to do than visit grumpy old ladies like me that are stuck in a nursin’ home… what? No, you can’t have a cookie! Get out of here you greedy little…

Well, that got rid of him quick.

Ditched – Part Two

The second part of Ditched. Click for Part One. Let me know what you think!

The sounds of bouncing basketballs and shoes squeaking on the court caused Crystal to lift her head. She stared dully at the players as they warmed up. She didn’t really have any interest in the game now, but she couldn’t help hoping that Valerie would come back to sit with her. She glanced around the bleachers and saw Valerie sitting a couple of rows down from her and two rows to the left. She was all by herself, but she had her headphones in and was absorbed with the movie on her phone. As the start of the game neared and the stands started to fill up, Crystal glanced more and more frequently at Valerie.

Everyone stood for the national anthem, and Crystal forced herself to stop looking at Valerie and to turn to the flag. Even so, she couldn’t help wondering if Valerie was looking at her.

More people filed in after the anthem. Crystal soon realized that Valerie probably wasn’t coming back. Many of Valerie’s other friends had found her, and they were chattering away. Crystal stared down at the basketball court, not seeing the game, just thinking.

“Is this seat taken?” a male voice asked from right next to her. She looked up at him vaguely and shook her head. She turned back to the court, still unseeing, although she felt him sit down in the seat that was formerly Valerie’s. She was unconscious of the boy sitting there, watching her as the people around them leapt to their feet, cheering wildly.

“You’re not really paying attention to the game, are you?” the boy asked, breaking into her thoughts. She looked away from the court, and, for the first time, noticed his red hair and sparkling green eyes.

“No,” she admitted, laughing a little nervously. “I guess not.”

He smiled gently. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

Crystal started her story hesitatingly, but she soon found herself pouring out the entire story. After she finished, she studied him. A look of compassion and indignation filled his eyes.

“That stinks,” he told her. “But it doesn’t sound like she was a very good friend. I mean, she didn’t listen to you, and she was pretty quick to ditch you.”

Crystal sighed, brushing her bangs out of her eyes. “Yeah, I know, but I don’t really have any friends. She was one of the few people who actually hung out with me,” she admitted.

“You deserve better,” the boy said, looking at her seriously.

Crystal gawked at him, lost for words. “Wh-what?” she finally stammered.

He gave her an awkward smile. “I don’t know you very well, but I still think you deserve better friends than Valerie. You’re God’s special child.”

She gave him an odd look. “You’re a Christian?”

He laughed. “Yes, I am. Don’t look at me like that.”

Crystal frowned. “You really believe all that Bible stuff?”

“Yes,” he told her seriously. “I believe every word of it.”

She looked at him curiously. “You’re really passionate about it, aren’t you?” she asked.

He nodded. “It’s my dream to become a youth pastor, if God wills.”

Crystal looked down at her hands shyly. “Do you think that you could tell me more about all this?”

The smile that nearly split his face made her heart leap. “Of course.”

“Thanks, uh,” Crystal hesitated.

“Zachary,” he finished, still smiling warmly at her. “You can call me Zach.”

Crystal smiled. “Nice to meet you, Zach.”

“You, too, Crystal.”

Weeks passed. Crystal hung out with Zach a lot, and even started going to his church with him, not just on Sundays, but on Wednesday nights, too. They didn’t go to the same school, but they often met up at games and hung out on the weekends. Crystal often saw Valerie in the halls at school, but her old friend completely ignored her.

Crystal slammed her locker shut at school one Wednesday and glanced over at Valerie’s locker. Zach had suggested that she invite Valerie to church with them that night, but she was nervous. She took a deep breath and headed over to her old friend’s locker.

Valerie was rummaging in her locker and didn’t see Crystal approach. Crystal waited awkwardly next to Valerie’s locker. Finally, she cleared her throat.

Valerie pulled her head out of her locker and looked at Crystal. When she saw who it was, she turned to go back to her task. Crystal grabbed her friend’s arm before she could start ignoring her again. “Please, Val,” she begged.

Valerie turned to her, her eyes flashing. “Forget it. We can’t be friends anymore.”

“Hear me out,” Crystal began, speaking fast so that Valerie would hear everything she had to say. “I want to say that I’m sorry. I should’ve listened to you. I hope you’ll forgive me.”

Valerie rolled her eyes. “Is that all?” she demanded, attempting to extract her arm from Crystal’s grip.

“No,” Crystal told her. She hesitated. “I was wondering if you want to come with me to church tonight.”

Valerie snorted. “No.”

“Why not?” Crystal asked.

“Why not?” Valerie repeated, sneering. “Because church is stupid, all that Jesus stuff is stupid, and you’re stupid.” She yanked her arm out of Crystal’s grasp and stomped away.

Crystal choked back tears as she turned back to her locker and gathered her books in her arms. As she went to class, she silently prayed, asking God to change Valerie’s heart. And she made a decision. She wouldn’t stop asking.