The Dead Church

Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
November 10, 2010

A new pastor in old church in rural USA, spent the first four days making personal visits to each of his prospective congregation inviting them to come to his inaugural services.

The following Sunday the church was all but empty. Accordingly, the pastor placed a notice in the local newspapers, stating that, because the church was dead, it was everyone’s duty to give it a decent Christian burial. The funeral would be held the following Sunday afternoon.

Morbidly curious, a large crowd turned out for the ‘funeral’.

In front of the pulpit they saw a closed coffin which was covered in flowers. After the pastor had delivered the eulogy, he opened the coffin and invited his congregation to come forward and pay their final respects to their dead church.

Filled with curiosity as to what would represent the corpse of a ‘dead church‘, all the people eagerly lined up to look in the coffin. Each ‘mourner’ peeped into the coffin then quickly turned away with a guilty, sheepish look.

In the coffin, tilted at the correct angle, was a large mirror.

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12 comments
  1. Reblogged this on The Mermaid Swims… Strait Way to New and commented:
    Morning Story and Dilbert is one of my favorite blogs on the blog roll. I loved reading this excellent piece! The humor and symbolism found in the writing….my kind of thing. So, my most immediate thought and QUESTION (always a question) was…..”Am I alive in Jesus?” Truth is, on my own, I am spiritually dead without him. Parts of the sermon I heard in my most recent morning gathering ….were difficult for me, mostly because I had to acknowledge some favorite sins. It has been a few weeks since I felt a happier high. Two weeks ago there was a Sunday following the death of a small child in our community. Last week, communion was especially sobering. I work at being happy and positive. This is largely successful and brings more happy and positive as I remember gratitude. Presently, in midlife, at a time when I am probably in the best physical condition of my life, I am finding myself headed into a needed surgery. Never saw this coming. So, I have been told that sad thoughts attract serious and sad situations. I can not allow myself to linger here. Must feel happy. Must visualize Christ’s smiling face and beckoning, inviting arms. Nothing can stand against when my God is with me. My God is the God of all people, whether they believe this truth of not. His love never ends. It never gives up. It never runs out on me. I will sing all of these and other songs. The songs of the heart are a prayer to Our God….and I need these, but mostly, I need Him. I think he has been trying to tell me…..”Be still, and know I am God. I love you. Stop fighting, and open your mind and heart to healing and begin to receive…..to be loved by others. Receiving is as important as the giving of love, if the Law of Attraction is to work. I have a feeling my classroom carpet is going to be super, ultra clean by the end of the school day tomorrow. Mostly because I will be on my knees throughout the day…..under the guise of “cleaning.” ha ha And…..if the sun is shining outside in the Utah sky, I will find myself outside for recess soaking in the sun….and feeling warm, as I seek His face. 🙂

  2. I’m asking myself, “What can I do so my church never deserves such a funeral?” (at least while I’m alive!). After all Jesus and his church have done for me, how can I refuse to serve and minister to others? Thank you, Kenny, for this thought-provoking story!

  3. MTJames said:

    Much said in few words. A lot has been said about, “doing versus being,” with strong opinions on both sides. James 2:14-26 gives God’s opinion.

  4. What keeps a church alive is not as much the Sunday gathering as it is the individual Believers who find themselves daily in the Word of God, prayer, and finding someone with which to share the message of Jesus. That was a bold pastor in the illustration.

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