12 November 2010

Friday night folklore: The Gold Coin

Once upon a time there was a man who was very avaricious and would stop at nothing to get what he wanted. He was likewise so miserly that he could not bring himself to do good for any man. His pastor often reprimanded him for this, asking him where he thought this behaviour would eventually lead him, but the miser ignored his pleadings and reprimands completely.

Finally the miser died and upon hearing of his death the pastor became so very worried for his eternal soul that he could hardly sleep. The next night when he finally fell asleep, the pastor dreamt that he saw, in the sky above the dead man’s farm, a huge pair of scales. By one side there were angels who were putting the dead man’s good works on the scales and by the other demons who were piling his misdeeds on their side of the scales. Those were many and weighed heavily, but the good works consisted only of a piece of bread the miser had once given a poor and starving man out of pity. The demons started bragging about the weight of their end of the scales, but the angels only said: “Let us wait for the Judge to decide.”

Everything became very still and quiet, and then the pastor saw where a tiny gold coin tumbled down from the heavens to fall beside the piece of bread. It tipped the scales over to the side of righteousness and the demons crept away with sour faces and their tails between their legs while the angels shouted with joy, and that’s when the pastor woke up. After this he was certain that the gold coin meant that the Lord Jesus had approved the man’s entry into Heaven, and this made him easier in his mind.

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