Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Godspell and the Parables (part 5): The Sheep and Goats parable

The four goats who (at first) are left behind 

The next parable, Sheep and Goats, reinforces the point that this universal kingdom includes everyone. This time Jesus narrates the parable, while the disciples act out the various roles:  
Now when the Son of Man comes in all his glory—with all his angels with himhe will sit in state upon his throne with all the nations gathered before him.  And then he will separate men into two groups as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And then he will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
At this point the disciples mill around, and eventually separate into the two groups of sheep and goats.
And he will say to all of them on his right. “Sheep, you have my father’s blessing. Come and enter the kingdom that has been ready since the world was made. For when I was hungry, you gave me food. When I was thirsty, you gave me drink. When I was naked and without a home, you took me to your house. And when I was ill and in prison, you came to my aid.”
Jeffrey, a “goat,” tries to sneak into the group of sheep, but Jesus prevents him and says, “Sorry! No goats!” Two sheep, Robin and Jerry, ask Jesus when they saw him hungry and gave him food, thirsty and gave him drink, or in prison and helped him. Jesus responds, “Anything you did for one of your brothers, however humble, you did for me.” 

Jesus then turns to the goats and says: “A curse is upon you!” and follows it up with these words:  “Anything you did not do for one of my brothers, however humble, you did not do for me!”

Although Jesus then says that the goats “will take their place in eternal punishment, but the righteous shall have eternal life!” an interesting twist in the story occurs. He says, “Come on!” to the sheep, and they all run up the steps, to the great disappointment of the goats left behind at the bottom of the steps. 

But after a few moments, Jesus then returns to the top of the stairs and speaks to the goats who were left behind. He smiles, gestures at them, and says again, “Come on!” The goats delightedly scamper up the steps after him, and then, last of all, Judas does as well, and they all receive welcome and hugs as they rejoin the group. It seems that all are saved in Godspell’s kingdom of heaven.

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