I know you are all thinking, "Willy Wonka and redemption has Josh been snorting Hershey's again or what?", but trust me and hang in there and wait for it because, folks this is GOOD! 
 
Ok check this out. 
An eccentric Genius "creator" Wonka has made the most wonderful enjoyable things for a long time.  He is odd and mysterious and he does things in ways no one can understand, but it is his wisdom and eccentricity that make his creations so wonderful.  
Now we arrive on the scene.  The "creator" offers "eternal enjoyment" a life time supply of chocolate, but you get to tour the factory first "live life".   On the tour "life" you are required to follow the creator's rules for enjoyment of the pleasures that abound inside the factory.  There is however a "counterfeit creator" Slugworth who hates the creator and offers his own version of eternal enjoyment if those touring the factory will only steal from the creator and break his rules. Once the tour begins candies, sweets, and experimental goodies are everywhere you look but enjoyment of those things must be according to the rules of the creator.  These are rules he has set in place for their safety and to maximize the enjoyment of the factory.  Here is the most important part.  If at anytime you violate the creators rules of enjoyment you are no longer eligible for the eternal enjoyment he is going to award at the end of the tour.  As the lucky tourists walk through the beautiful, amazing, overwhelming creations of the creator each of them finds the temptation to step outside the rules to powerful to deny.  One by one all of the tourists, even the hero Charlie, break the rules of the creator and all to disastrous result.  Charlie however does not get caught in the act. 
    They proceed to the end of the tour and the awaiting eternal reward losing another person at every turn. Those that are lost all leave the factory vowing to choose the alternative enjoyment of the "counterfeit creator".    When the end is reached Charlie alone remains, and he is confident of his reward, but the creator has not been fooled.  He tells Charlie he gets none of the expected reward due to his disobedience and foolishness.  Charlie's Grandpa Joe is irate he screams at the creator about his false promises and unfair cruelty to an innocent child.  Grandpa Joe also vows to choose the alternative enjoyment of the counterfeit creator and goes to leave, but Charlie realizes his own error.  He repents, rejects the counterfeit creators temptations and readies himself to leave with nothing, and that is when the tables turn.  Charlie's repentance moves the creator's heart and he says joyfully.  "You've won!" but not just the eternal enjoyment of a life time supply of chocolate.  Charlie has won so much more than that.  Here the hidden desire of the creator is revealed.  The creator did not just want to give away a life time supply of chocolate, the creator wanted someone to be his partner in ruling and reigning over the factory, and even more importantly the creator wanted a friend that he could teach his ways too.  He had this plan from the beginning but he could only give this awesome reward to one who chose HIS ways and HIS reward over those offered by counterfeit creator.  The whole point of the story is that the real prize isn't the factory or the chocolate it is the mysterious creator Himself.
 
What a picture of God the Father and His heart for the church!  Isn't that cool!  The only element that is missing is the story of the creator's son who died to save Charlie's life and make the way for Charlie to get his reward.  That would make it perfect!  Even better would be if Charlie was a girl and Wonka had a son who gave up the factory and His Father's wealth to die to save the girl's life and then through some kind of magic candy he was restored to life and married the girl at the end!  maybe I'll write that one sometime!
 
Oh Lord let me walk right past all the pleasures of this world and lay hold of the ONE who they point to.  You are my exceeding great reward. 
Amen.
 
 
 
 

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