There once was a man named George Thomas, pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird-cage, and set it by the pulpit. Eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak.
“I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me swinging this bird-cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright.
I stopped the lad and asked, “What do you have there, son?”
“Just some old birds,” came the reply.
“What are you going to do with them?” I asked.
“Take ‘em home and have fun with ‘em,” he answered. “I’m gonna tease ‘em and pull out their feathers to make ‘em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time.”
“But you’ll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?”
“Oh, I got some cats,” said the little boy. “They like birds. I’ll take ‘em to them.”
I was silent for a moment. “How much do you want for those birds, son?”
“Huh??!!! Why, you don’t want them birds, mister. They’re just plain old field birds. They don’t sing. They ain’t even pretty!”
“How much?” I asked again.
The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, “$10?”
I reached in my pocket and took out a ten-dollar bill and placed it in the boy’s hand. In a flash, the boy was gone. I then picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, I opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free.
Well, that explained the empty bird-cage on the pulpit. Then the pastor began to tell this story:
One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting. “Yes, sir, I just caught a world full of people down there. Set a trap, used bait I knew they couldn’t resist. Got them all!”
“What are you going to do with them?” Jesus asked.
Satan replied, “Oh, I’m going to have fun! I’m going to teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to drink and smoke and curse. I’m going to teach them how to hate and have wars to kill each other. I’m really going to have fun!”
“And what will you do when you are done with them?” Jesus asked.
“Oh, I’ll kill them,” Satan glared proudly.
“How much do you want for them?” Jesus asked.
“Oh, you don’t want these people. They aren’t any good. Why, if you take them, they’ll just hate you. They’ll spit on you, curse you and kill you. You don’t want these people!!”
“How much?” He asked again.
Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, “All your blood, tears, and your life.”
Jesus said, “DONE!” Then He paid the price.
The pastor picked up the cage and walked from the pulpit.
Edited by Susan E. Johnson
“That we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1: 12-14 (NKJV)
Copyright © 2011 by Susan E. Johnson
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