Around noon everyday, the fishing boats start to arrive.
This day, the sun, blazing high in the clear, azure sky, is just beginning to ramp up its warmth for the day.
Fishermen row into shore as scavenger gulls dot the rocky beach in anticipation of catching some unattended morsel. While anchored boats bob in the wake of the incoming hauls, more famished gulls congregate as a cloud of ravenous vultures, waiting to swoop down for a bite of fly-by lunch.
Stomach-empty villagers eagerly begin to gather on the lush hillside and down along the shore in anticipation of taking home some fresh fish to cook for their noonday meal.
This small, idyllic fishing village, called Fishersville, rests on the verdant slopes of a restful kingdom belonging to a benevolent King.
Each villager must learn to fish, for this was the law. But while learning to fish is a great thing, depending on another to fish for you, that’s easier. As some entertained the thought.
All had gone well in this quiet hamlet, until one day, the villagers started noticing briars sticking to their clothes. The people didn’t understand why this was happening and complained to the King, wanting him to do something.
So, they held a town meeting and invited the King. After the people asked their many questions, the King said…
“Haven’t you noticed what causes these briars to appear?”
“No,” said the people.
“When you murmur, complain, speak negatively, or are prideful, selfish, hateful, unforgiving, or you steal, kill or do any of the other things I’ve said not to do, briars will appear on your clothes.
“I have decreed laws for this kingdom, which I put in place for your own good, because I love all my people, even those who are disobedient. These laws make life more pleasant for all the kingdom dwellers. But when a person ignores or disobeys them, a penalty is applied.
“I want the best for everyone, to make this kingdom a welcoming place not only for all of Fishersville but also for all those who visit here. My people are to be examples of goodness to visitors.”
The King then told them he would have regal robes made for everyone out of beautiful, pristine fabric and he would give them free for everyone to wear, if they so chose.
“Now, if you choose to stay in your own garments, briars will continue to appear and stick to you. So, if anyone does not wear a royal robe when they come to visit me, they will not be allowed into my presence.
“However, if you choose to accept my gift of a new robe and briars appear, you will be able to remove them easily. Just go to my son’s fix-it shop and he will gladly remove them for you.”
Many liked the idea, but many others thought they’d rather choose their own garment and didn’t care about going to see the King.
As the years went by, some citizens didn’t respect the King, so they decided to do things their own way. They didn’t want to be fishermen and they wore their own garments, which became dirty and stained and filled with briars. But they didn’t care. They just got used to it.
Those who did care made daily visits to the son’s fix-it shop to have their briars removed and took great pleasure in visiting with the King they loved so much.
“See that I have removed from you your iniquity,
and I will clothe you with rich robes.”
Zech. 3:4b MEV
Blessings of an unbriared robe…Lynn