Just Some Old Birds.
Murmurs rippled through the congregation when Reverend George Thomas placed a rusty old bird cage on the pulpit. The church members weren’t used to their Minister using props in his sermons—especially not on Easter Sunday.
Sensing the congregation’s confusion, Reverend Thomas explained how he had obtained the cage.
It seems that the day before he had been walking through town when he noticed a young boy carelessly swinging the cage around. Thomas noticed that there were three obviously frightened little birds inside the cage.
The pastor stopped the youngster and asked, “What have you got there, son?”
“Just some old birds,” came the reply.
“And what are you going to do with them,” he asked.
“Take ‘em home and have some fun with ‘em,” the boy said. “I’m gonna poke ‘em and pull out their feathers and watch ‘em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time.”
“But those birds don’t belong to you,” said the minister.
“They do now,” the boy responded. “I found ‘em and I can do anything I want with ‘em.”
“But you’ll get tired of playing with those birds, son. What will you do with them then?”
“Oh, I’ve got some cats,” grinned the boy. “They like birds. I’ll give ‘em to my cats.”
The pastor was silent for a moment. Then he asked, “How much do you want for those birds, son?”
“You don’t want these birds, mister,” said the boy. “They’re just plain old sparrows. They don’t sing. They ain’t even pretty.”
The boy sized up the minister as if he were crazy and said, “Ten Pounds.”
The minister reached into his pocket and took out a ten Pound Note. He placed it in the boy’s hand. In a flash, the boy was gone. The pastor set the cage down, opened the door, and gently coaxed the birds out, setting them free.
The congregation listened quietly as the minister told of his encounter with the boy. Then he told them another story.
One day Jesus and the devil were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, grinning and boasting. “I just caught me a bunch of people down there. Set me a trap! Used bait I knew they couldn’t resist! Got ‘em all!”
“What are you going to do with them?” Jesus asked.
“Oh, I’m gonna have me some fun with them. I’m gonna teach them how to hurt and abuse each other. I’ll teach them how to marry and divorce each other, lie to each other, and kill each other. Oh, I’m gonna really have a good time!”
“But those people don’t belong to you,” said Jesus.
“They do now! I can do anything I want with them.”
“And what will you do when you get through with them?” asked Jesus.
“I’ll kill them.”
“How much do you want for them?”
“Oh, you don’t want these people,” said the devil. “They’re no good. You may love them, sure, but they’ll just hate you back. They’ll spit on you, curse you, and kill you. You don’t want these people.”
“How much?” Jesus asked.
Satan sized up Jesus as if he were crazy and said, “Your life.”
The pastor ended his story this way: “Jesus paid the price. And on that first Easter Sunday morning, he picked up the cage, opened the door, and set us free.”
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).
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