Dear Beloved Parishioners and Guests,
It’s the beginning of a New Year and I should be writing
to you about Resolutions, etc, but I think that I will share with
you the story about “THE STRANGER” instead…
A father of a family met a stranger who recently came into town and was immediately fascinated with him. And soon the father invited him to come and live
with his family. The stranger was quickly accepted by the entire family and no one
in the house ever even questioned him
The mother of the family taught the children solid Christian values, the
father taught the children to be obedient. The “stranger” however, would keep the children absolutely spellbound for hours with adventures, mysteries and comedies.
If anyone in the house wanted to know anything about politics, history or science,
the stranger always had the answers for he was very intelligent and wise! The
stranger never stopped talking… and the parents seemingly encouraged this.
The father would rule his household with certain moral convictions, but the “stranger” never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in that home – not from the children, or the friends or any visitors, but the “stranger” could speak as he wanted to and this often made both parents quite uncomfortable.
The stranger was often blatant, sometimes suggestive and generally embarrassing. Consequently, he had a strong influence on the views of the entire household. Time after time, he publicly opposed the values of the parents and yet he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave.
More than 50 years passed since the stranger moved in with this family. He blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he had been at first. And if you were to walk into this house today, you would find him sitting over in his corner, always waiting for someone to listen to him talk.
What is this stranger’s name? They just call him MR. TV… but now he has a wife… and her name is Mrs. Computer!
It’s a simple story but I am reasonably sure that most of us recognize this stranger for he now lives in most of our homes as well and we often give him far more attention than we should. Yes, he is fascinating, he is intriguing and he is funny. But should he be sitting at the head of our tables? Do we have to give him the right to set the standards of our lives?
As we commerce our 2013, let us focus, if but for a moment, on the strangers in our homes. And let us remember that it is our choice where they will sit and how much attention we will give them.
May we have the strength to stand up to the “strangers”
in our home and may we restore the family atmosphere and
the peace that truly needs to belong there always!