A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, suddenly stopped coming to church. After a few weeks, the preacher decided to visit. He found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.
Guessing the reason for the preacher’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited. The preacher made himself at home, but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs.
After some minutes, the preacher arose from his chair, took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it on 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 we no more. Soon it was cold and lifeless.
The preacher glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave. He 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 preacher reached the door to leave, his host said, with a tear running down his cheek, “Thank you so much for your visit, and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday.”
We live in a world today which tries to say too much with too little. Consequently, few listen. Sometimes the best sermons are the ones left unspoken. What silent message would God have you share with someone today?
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
- Cybersalt Digest; via THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the Arthur church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com