The Parable of The Curry House
By Fin Sheridan
There’s a curry house just around the corner from where I live. As I was walking past yesterday, I noticed that they had put some artwork outside with their name and its meaning. Since it’s an Indian restaurant, it’s unsurprising that it’s a term from Hinduism – there’s a Christian coffee shop in the same city called “Selah”, it’s just marketing – but it caught my eye and got me thinking.
Now, I’ve heard good things about their curry and the smell as I walked past was fantastic. But I’m sure that I can say, with almost concrete certainty, that their food is not going to release me from the “bondage of karma and the wheel of birth and death”. They might have excellent naan bread but it’s unlikely to be “Absolute Experience”. Clearly the owners aren’t familiar with the phrase “under-promise and over-deliver”. I’ve had some good curries in my life and some profound spiritual experiences but never at the same time and I don’t imagine an evening at Moksh is going to change that.
What Moksh are doing is effectively the basis of good advertising: tie a product to a promise. This sauce, meat and rice combination will provide some relief from a wearisome world. It’s the same with cars (X choice of motor equals Y type of lifestyle), perfume adverts (aftershave A will lead to women B finding me irresistible) and well, pretty much everything else we buy. All of us make financial decisions based on the promises of advertisers.
“Not only is Jesus the ultimate promise maker, he’s the truest promise keeper.”
Of course, none of these products actually live up to the promise. They all ultimately underdeliver which is the reason we keep upgrading. The perfect family car didn’t produce the perfect family so we trade it in. The perfume didn’t change how we view ourselves and so we buy a different one, hoping that will validate us. Yet it won’t.
Jesus makes some pretty audacious claims about himself too. He claims that “whoever comes to me will never be thirsty”. He calls himself “the way, the truth and the life”. He says that he will be able to give us “rest for our souls”. He claims to be able to forgive us.
These are big promises and yet he is the only one able to follow through on them. 2 Corinthians 1:20 says that ‘In Christ, all the promises of God are “Yes”’. Every promise that God makes, Jesus delivers on. Not only is Jesus the ultimate promise maker, he’s the truest promise keeper.