The Empty Bird Cage

     There once was a man named George Thomas, a 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. Several
 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 you got there son?" "Just some old birds," came the reply.
 "What are you gonna 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."
      The pastor 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?" the pastor asked again. The boy sized up the pastor as
 if  he were crazy and said, "$10?" The pastor reached in his pocket and
 took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy's hand. In a flash,
 the boy was gone. The pastor 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, he 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, and 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 the world full 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. 
   Satan replied, "Oh, I'm gonna have fun! I'm  gonna 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 gonna teach them
 how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I'm really gonna
have fun!" "And what will you do when you get done with them?" Jesus
 asked "Oh, I'll kill 'em," Satan glared proudly. "How much do you want
for them?" Jesus asked. "Oh, you don't want those people. They ain't
no good. Why, you'll take them and they'll just hate you. They'll
spit on you, curse you and kill you!! You don't want those people!!" "How
 much?"
      He asked again. Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, "All your
tears,  and all your blood." Jesus said, "DONE!" Then He paid the price. The
 pastor picked up the cage, he opened the door and he walked from the
 pulpit.

Vindigo: Portable City Guide for Palm OS

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