The Parable of the Parking Lot
Announced by Archdruid Eileen, Tuesday, 27 March 2012
My regular correspondent “Anonymous” has moved to America! From where s/he reports on a church with a car park so big they have to name the sub-car-parks after the books of the Bible.
Which makes me muse. My immediate reaction to this was the one it always is to modern Church doings – how did we get from the way Jesus lived to bumper stickers/tea-lights ‘n’ pebbles/jumble sales/Keble College chapel? But on this occasion a chord was struck – after all, didn’t Jesus on a similar occasion create enough food to feed 5,000 plus women and children? He effectively had his own mega-church for a while
So I’d like you to come with me here, and imagine that, on his return, Jesus decides to put off the smiting, Rapture, plagues and judgement for a year or two to give everyone a final last chance to repent. And takes a job as visiting Pastor in an American super-church.
And the Assistant Pastors come to him and said, “Lord, what shall we do? For there are so many who have flocked to see you from within a two-hour drive-time. Yea, for many have journeyed long along the desert roads – where bloweth the tumbleweed, and the deer and the antelope play, and one has to change the Eagles CD even unto three or four times to reach civilisation.”
And Jesus replied to them and said, “Enough with the King James talk, already. OK, so if they have travelled a day’s journey – as it were from LA to San Jose – or from El Paso to Amarillo – then they must be hungry. Bring me five bagels and two small Gefilterfisch.”
And they replied unto to him saying, “Lord – what need have they of loaves and fishes? For the Chrysolite Chapel has in-house restaurants, pop-corn sellers and free potato chips that fall even from the ceiling like manna from heaven. No – the problem is the car parking lot. For its sub-lots are full even from Genesis unto Malachi, and Matthew unto Revelation.”
“You guys have a strange way of arranging the Hebrew Bible,” replied Jesus, “but we’ll skip that for now. Instead – can the church not buy more land for its parking lot?”
“Indeed not, Lord. For unto the East it borders McDonalds’ lot. To the West it borders Taco Bell. To the north, we adjoin the lot of Krusty’s Krematorium Donut Stall – and to the South it adjoins the area that the Ol’ Ponderosa Rib-Fantasia allocates for its customers’ parking. Surely, the lots have fallen for us in good places.”
“Then I have another suggestion,” replied the Lord. “For yours is truly a church of Baby-boomer Empty-nesters. And though you drive in cars as big as bars, each only carries one or maybe two sitting in the front seat. So why doesn’t the one with spare seats offer to another a lift to Church on Sunday? You’ll fit twice as many people in and still half the parking lot will be free. Or maybe some of you could try cycling? Bikes take up barely any space.”
“Lord, saith they unto him, are you some kinda commie?”
Photograph of 62-foot-tall Jesus sculpture at the Solid Rock megachurch off of I-75 north of Cincinnati, by Joe Shlabotnik, 16 May 2008. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Solid_Rock_megachurch.jpg