If you can imagine for a moment that we are all living in the future, not too far in the future, but far enough that you are adults, in fact most of you are older than what I am now. The years have passed by and some terrible things have happened in the world. Climate change was real and the world is suffering from food shortages. Oil is running out and it is too expensive for most people to have cars and power has become very expensive.
People are finding it harder and harder to find the basic necessities of life – clean water and food. In fact people are so worried about feeding themselves they hoard their food and don’t tell anyone what they have anymore.
A traveler comes into the small community you are living in and everyone looks suspiciously at the person as he asks for some food. (Name for the person) Instead of sharing the frightened people go back into their homes away from the man worried about the little bit of food that they have.
So the man takes out his big pot and fills it with water and begins heating it over a small fire in the middle of the houses. People peer out of their barred windows to see what he is doing. From his bag he brings out a stone – just an average looking stone – sniffing at the stone a smiling he places it into the warming pot.
Humming to himself he begins to stir the pot, occasionally tasting the contents. Curiosity sets in and slowly a few of the people come out from behind their closed doors and gather near the man and one eventually asks what he is doing. “Oh”, he says, “I am making some stone soup. Would you like to share?”
Looking dubiously around one of the people (name) says “It looks a bit bland, I’m not sure it would taste any good.” The man says “I suppose you are right, it could do with some saltiness.” One of the people volunteers timidly, “I think I may still have a little salt.” “Yes that would be good,” says the man, so they person goes off to fetch the salt.
After adding the salt the man exclaims “Oh yes that’s better! But it still seems a little bit lacking, usually my stone soup is much tastier.”
Another of the people says I have some bones left from the chicken I cooked last night, so quickly they are brought and added to the boiling pot.
Another of the people watching the chicken going says “I remember loving chicken and corn soup as a child; I think I may have an old tin of corn inside.” This too is added to the soup.
Gradually one by one others of the community volunteer more ingredients noodles, onions, carrots, herbs and so on. One person even brings out bowls and spoons and a loaf of bread to share with the soup.
Soon the people are gathered around the fire laughing and enjoying the best meal that they have had in ages and one of them remembers what they had learnt in Sunday school about what the early Christian people did sharing all things in common and giving to everyone who as any had need.