Group Dynamics, Small Groups, Community Building

The Silent Sermon

A member of a certain church who had been attending services regularly suddenly stopped coming. After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit. The pastor found the man at home alone. He was sitting before his fireplace. 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 sat down 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 and carefully picked up a brightly burning ember. He placed it to one side of the hearth all alone. Then he sat back in his chair in silence.

The man watched all this in quietly.

The lone embers’ flame flickered with a momentary glow, then its fire was no more. It was cold and lifeless. After awhile, the pastor 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 pastor reached the door to leave, the man said with a tear running down his cheek, “Thanks for your visit and the fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday.”

Author unknown

See a similar story here: The Rabbi's Gift

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created October 16, 2007

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