Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Fellowship (among believers) (10/11/07)
TITLE: The Cobbler's Guest: A Story for Telling
By Karen Wilber
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One evening the king's carriage was delayed returning home to the castle and he happened upon the cobbler's shop. As the carriage approached, the king heard laughter and music issuing through the open door and bid his driver stop so that he could listen awhile. Inside the cobbler's shop, the woodcutter was telling stories. The king crept out of his carriage to listen outside the window. As the king drew closer, the tailor took out his violin and began to play a joyful tune. The cobbler and the woodcutter joined in, their voices raised in a chorus of praise. The king wished he could join them, but he was late for a banquet in his honor.
The next evening the king disguised himself in a commoner's cloak and returned to the cobbler's shop. He peered through the window as the cobbler and his friends prayed over their evening meal. The king observed that there were four places set at the table, though there were only three men present. When the cobbler and his guests finished their meal, they sat before the fire as the woodcutter told stories and the tailor played his violin.
The next morning the king ordered his carriage to take him to the cobbler's shop. Upon entering, the king asked the cobbler, “You are poor, yet you live more richly than any king. How is this possible?”
The cobbler replied, “My supper is simple. My companions are humble. All except for one man. It is he who brings richness and joy to us every night.”
The king was puzzled, “Who is this man? Tell me, so that I might invite him to my table. My supper is sumptuous, yet sticks in my throat like stale bread. My guests are wealthy, yet impoverished of spirit. Tell me, that I might meet this man. Is he the tailor? Is he the woodcutter?”
“Neither.” the cobbler replied, “Each night, when we pray, we invite Jesus to join us. It is he who makes our fellowship complete. Though he hasn't yet come to sit in the place I've set for him, I know he's here all the same.”
That evening, another place was set at the cobbler's table.
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