– A Parable of Ministry in the Consumer Age –
In this Parable, Goldilocks returns to the very ones she had run away from because God got a hold of her heart. She now returns to serve the very three she thought had been there to meet her needs. Yes, there were THREE bears but in this Parable there are Two Grumps and one Baby.
When Goldilocks first arrived the Three Bears were stunned and also quite wary for the last time they had seen Goldilocks, she had left their world in quite a mess. However there was a remarkable and undeniable change in her: She repaired the broken chair, made all three beds, and made them a fresh pot of Porridge. There was no change however in our Bears, at least two of them. In fact they were becoming downright un-bearable.
Papa Bear discovered that indeed his rocking chair was too hard while Momma Bear found that indeed hers was too soft. They tried swapping chairs but that only made them more Grumpy. Goldilocks set the unwanted chairs on the front porch only to find some local elderly people using them as a halfway rest stop on their walk to shop and back home. While Baby Bear’s chair was “just right”, he loved visiting with those who stopped by and so willingly put his chair on the front porch as well. The Two Grumps were now even grumpier because of all the uninvited people dropping by unannounced!
Papa Bear found that his bed was indeed too hard while Momma Bear found hers was too soft. They were going to try to swap but found that Papa was too long and too heavy to even tryout Momma’s bed. This made him quite grumpy and he retired to watch football, the Chicago Bears (of course), while Momma ordered them some new beds from QVC. Goldilocks moved the unwanted beds to the finished basement where she was able to house a single- parent mom with her twin seven year olds - since Papa Bear’s bed was large enough for the twins. While Baby Bear’s bed was “just right”, he moved his bed downstairs as well for their 10 year old brother to join the rest of the family. The Two Grumps were now even grumpier because they would mutter things about people “needing to stand up on their own two paws” just like they had to when they were cubs!
Goldilocks could never make a proper pot of Porridge! Papa never had the patience to wait for it to cool so his was always too hot. Momma always had to finish just one more Game Show, so hers was always too cold. Goldilocks began to take the unwanted porridge to the back door where some hungry schoolchildren would stop because their own families had not had the money to be able to feed them breakfast. Momma and Papa would leave in a huff to go to Starbucks for their honey and lattes and would only come back once they had called to make sure those “ragamuffins” had moved on! Even though Baby Bear’s porridge was always just right, he realized that the amount he ate was entirely too much. He could have a proper breakfast plus feed four more hungry children for the same amount he used to eat; plus he loved hearing Goldilocks read from the Bible while the children ate.
One day Papa Bear announced that Baby Bear and Goldilocks had entirely ruined their home and neighborhood with all their “handouts to all the freeloaders”. He and Momma were going to move to some place where people would really see their needs as important. They had heard of a retired builder from Burger Kings who was building a new community where one could always “have it your way”. Baby Bear had learned from watching Goldilocks that sacrifice is the way to joy while selfishness will only make you grumpy. He turned the family home into a Rescue Mission and hired Goldilocks as its first Administrator. He would faithfully visit his parents in their luxury condo but could bearly(sp) tolerate the continual complaints they had found with the Management Office. Alas he could not rescue them from their Grumpiness…… but everyone else lived happily ever after!
Pastor Stephen Willoughby
Pastor Steve grew up in Columbia,South America, where his parents served as missionaries for 25 years. After graduating from Capital Bible Seminary, he was invited to serve as Assistant Pastor at FBCP. He has served in that capacity for twenty years before taking on the position of Senior Pastor.