Who will help mother hen?

Once upon a time, there was a little red hen who lived on a farm. She was11259946_10207703891419926_3496470160248274047_n friends with a lazy dog, a sleepy cat, and a noisy yellow duck. One day the little red hen found some seeds on the ground. The little red hen had an idea. She would plant the seeds. The little red hen asked her friends, “Who will help me plant the seeds?” “Not I,” barked the lazy dog. “Not I,” purred the sleepy cat. “Not I,” quacked the noisy yellow duck. “Then I will,” said the little red hen. So the little red hen planted the seeds all by herself.

When the seeds had grown, the little red hen asked her friends, “Who will help me cut the wheat?” “Not I,” barked the lazy dog. “Not I,” purred the sleepy cat. “Not I,” quacked the noisy yellow duck. “Then I will,” said the little red hen. So the little red hen cut the wheat all by herself.

When all the wheat was cut, the little red hen asked her friends, “Who will help me take the wheat to the mill to be ground into flour?””Not I,” barked the lazy dog. “Not I,” purred the sleepy cat. “Not I,” quacked the noisy yellow duck. “Then I will,” said the little red hen. So the little red hen brought the wheat to the mill all by herself, ground the wheat into flour, and carried the heavy sack of flour back to the farm, and carried the heavy sack of flour back to the farm.

The tired little red hen asked her friends, “Who will help me bake the bread?” “Not I,” barked the lazy dog. “Not I,” purred the sleepy cat. “Not I,” quacked the noisy yellow duck. “Then I will,” said the little red hen. So the little red hen baked the bread all by herself.

When the bread was finished, the tired little red hen asked her friends, “Who will help me eat the bread?” “I will,” barked the lazy dog. “I will,” purred the sleepy cat. “I will,” quacked the noisy yellow duck. “No!” said the little red hen. “I will.” And the little red hen ate the bread all by herself.

For few, perhaps the libertarian or the staunch individualist, the story has a happy ending. But for most especially from a communal worldview, the ending is quite sad primarily because a lack in participation in the work resulted in a lack of participation in the celebration and enjoyment of the bread.

12038253_10207703890739909_6636751037505945013_nNow I readily admit that all analogies at a certain level break down.  But, I do think that this bedtime story if interpreted as a parable serves as a spiritual warning to the church. Jesus has purchased a group of people with his blood. He has called his church to help him in the gathering of them from the nations. In this calling he has asked some to send and some to go but all to be involved. Yet for some reason, many Christians simply ignore this command or consider it as, not applicable to them. The one who loved us and gave his life for us continually calls out to us, “Who will help me gather my sheep?” However our response is repeatedly and chillingly, “Not I.” As we have met with supporters time and time again, it has been our senders who have repeatedly lamented over the lack of support and interest in world missions in view of the sheer magnitude of the harvest.

On the last day, there will be a glorious grand feast. It will be a spectacular wedding. The time will have begun for the saints to rest from their labor because their deeds follow them (Rev. 14:13). The center of the celebration will not be centered upon the food though. It will be upon the lamb who was slain receiving the reward for his suffering, his bride – a people from every tribe, tongue and nation. The question remains to be answered “What will be racing through your mind in that moment when look back at your earthly life and you think back to a time when you could have said, ‘I will?'”