A Tale of Two Wells

Written By:
Dave Hopwood
Bible Refs: Jer 2:13
Lectionary Weeks: Proper 17, Ordinary/Lectionary 22 (Year C)

This is parable based loosely on Jeremiah 2:13’…for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and dug out cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water.’

It could work well as a discussion-starter on themes such as community, division, sin and forgiveness.


Extract from the story:

There was once a man and woman who lived in a village not far from the local well. The water there was clear and perfect and always tasted fresh. Each day they collected water from it and took it back to their village for everyone to share.

However one day the man and woman got bored of visiting the same well every day and so they started to dig a new well, on a piece of waste ground. Eventually they came across another supply of water, it was rust coloured and tasted strange, but they filled a couple of jars and took it back home.

At first no one would touch it, but they tried drinking it themselves and, though it tasted bad, it made them feel strange and happy; so they kept drinking it, and telling their friends about it. Before long others tried it too, and a split grew up in the village between those who preferred the clean water and those who drank the rust coloured supply.

The man and woman stopped fetching the clear water so others took on the job, even though they had plenty of other things to worry about. The man and woman found that those who drank their rusty water come back more and more frequently for a drink so they started to make a small charge. Then a not-so-small charge. In spite of this more people began to drink the new water, neglecting the clear water. Some of the important jobs in the village began to get overlooked as the people paid more attention to getting their drinks...


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Dave is an author and speaker who loves communicating the Bible using contemporary media, humour, illustrations and stories. He is author of several books retelling the Bible including The Groovy Gospel, The Bloke’s Bible, and Film & Faith. He goes out speaking by invitation and regularly publishes ideas and material via his website: www.davehopwood.com

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