Shanghai Parable 2: The Parable of the Very Special Spice

Shanghai Parable 2: The Parable of the Very Special Spice

Once upon a time there was a woman who loved to cook a special dish from the country of her birth. The recipe had been passed down for many generations and required a special spice that was full of flavor, but very rare and expensive.

When she and her family moved to Shanghai, she brought a small supply of the expensive spice, carefully packed in her luggage. Every so often she’d think about making her special dish which reminded her of the country she had left. However, since the special spice was not be found anywhere in Shanghai, she could not bring herself to use what she had brought in her suitcase. She decided to keep her small supply hidden away on a shelf in her kitchen.

She kept waiting for the right time to use it. A few years passed, and she really began to crave that meal which reminded her of the country of her birth. She could wait no longer. She decided to finally open it up and create that special dish, inviting her friends to come experience something she loved so much. She prepared the other ingredients, and then opened her small jar, expecting the scent to transport her back to the country she had left. Sadly, the years of sitting hidden on the shelf in her kitchen reduced the essence of the expensive spice so much, it had no scent at all. She tasted it, and found it had no flavor whatsoever.

She was full of sorrow as she threw the remains of her small jar away. She tasted bitterness instead of joy, and realized a rare and expensive spice which is not used, is no use at all.


Looking for more? Listen to the audio for the sermon “Flavor & Life” here.

Story imagined by Heather Rose Chase
Header images designed by Dean Liaw