Get your free Porsche here*

*Or maybe notRaising

A True Story**

“So,” he says, “you might have an old banger now but when it finally packs in for good, we’ll upgrade it for you, free of charge.”

“You’ll upgrade it?”

“Sure. No problem. You see your old car is… well, I’ll be honest with you, it’s a really rubbish make. It’s a pile of crap to tell you the truth.”

“A pile of crap?” I splutter. “I can’t believe what I’m hearing. If it’s such a pile of crap why’d you sell me it in the first place? Why d’you sell them at all?”

“No need to get upset, mate,” he says. “As I said, when it’s completely clapped out we’ll replace it with a brand new one, free of charge.”

“Free of charge?”

“Yeah, that’s the deal. You wear out a lemon we give you a brand new Porsche.”

“A new Porsche? C’mon man, you’re winding me up. Why would you give me a new Porsche for nothing?”

“Because as I said, that’s the deal. Have a little faith man. It all works out.”

“Okay, I say. Well how about I get the Porsche now. Before this old rust bucket let’s me down completely.”

“Doesn’t work like that mate,” he says. “You get the banger first, the Porsche at the end.”

I tell him this makes no sense at all. “Look… Paul,” I say, reading his name off the dirty old name tag he’s wearing, “if you want people to have a completely free brand-new, top-of-the-range luxury car then you should just give it to them the first time they come in here. Forget the clapped out old banger bit. Just give them the Porsche.”

“Nah, mate. I’ve told you, that’s not the offer.”

“Okay,” I say, making one last effort. “Show me one person who’s benefited from this mad scheme of yours. Show me one person who’s driven away in a Porsche after their old vehicle’s reached the end of the road.”

“Listen, mate,” he says, “it’s like I said. You need to have a little faith.”

One person,” I say.

“Okay,” he mumbles, ”there are stories that the boss’s son did once…”

“The boss’s son? ‘Stories’? Christ, what sort of con are you operating here?”

“You’ve upset me now, you fool” he says, “and I’m not sure you qualify for the deal any more.”

I can only shake my head. “I’m not sure I ever did… mate,” I say.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

**Yes, this really is a true story. You can find it in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians (15.35-50). Here’s how it goes there:

But some one will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” You foolish man! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.  And what you sow is not the body which is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain…

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown (buried) is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body…

Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Right…

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