Daily Connector | Try writing a parable | Paul Knapke

The theme for our worship services for 7 Sundays in July and August is Parables.  The parables told by Jesus in the bible are familiar to us, but can new parables be used to teach spiritual truths in the current day?  Worship Commission decided to invite writers to create modern-day parables to present in our worship services.

How would you have handled this assignment?

We gave the writers these parameters for their modern-day parable: 1. center your parable around a wisdom teaching; 2. either write your own parable or retell an existing parable in terms of modern culture; 3. start your parable with the words “The kingdom of God…”; 4. your parable should take between 30 seconds and 3 minutes to read.

I got the job of inviting writers for the task.  But before I could ask, I wanted to know what I was asking them to do.  I researched this on Google, and found the intriguing advice that I should avoid directly stating the wisdom teaching in the parable.  See if the reader can understand the teaching when it’s not spelled out.  With this advice, I ventured out to write my own.  Here is my parable:

The kingdom of God is like a kaleidoscope.
A parent asked a child to describe what could be seen in a kaleidoscope.
The child looked into the kaleidoscope for a while, and said, “Inside are red stars with blue edges and yellow centers.”
The parent asked, “Are you sure?  Please look again.”
After studying the kaleidoscope again, the child said, “There are clear snowflakes and green circles.”
The parent said, “Maybe you should look again.”
For the third time, the child looked carefully, and finally said, “I see purple dots and moons, yellow triangles, and blue sticks.”
Then the parent said, “When you think you really know what it looks like inside the kaleidoscope, study it again.  There is always something there that you have not seen yet.”

I wouldn’t claim it’s a great parable, but it was actually fun to write.  I think you would enjoy writing a parable, too.


The CMC Connector began soon after the start of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders in Ohio and will continue throughout the summer based on available content, coordinated through the Columbus Mennonite Church office. Contributors are associated with the church. For more information and to sign up, go HERE. Look for articles Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with the pastors’ blog on Wednesday. All articles are posted on the website columbusmennonite.org/blog.

Mim Halterman
Columbus Mennonite Church
Administrative Assistant
KCMCS Program Coordinator