On Sunday, our Associate Pastor, Monica, ended her sermon with the following story which I cannot help but share because it pertains to so many facets of life, especially family and friendships. It is truly something to consider, this falling away…
The story goes like this. “A member of the Church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the pastor grew concerned and decided to visit him. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited.
The pastor made himself at home but said nothing. In the silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone …then he sat back in his chair, still silent.
The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and dead.
Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. The pastor slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.
As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said ‘Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I’ll see you in Church next Sunday!”
Although some may not be seen in church next Sunday, how wonderful it would be to once again see them as part of the warmth.