Pastor Carl served a small church in frontier America.
The church was the center of the tiny community's activities. In addition to preaching the gospel, the church provided a venue for social, business and educational opportunities. "God has called us to serve the community in every way that we can," said Pastor Carl.
Although Easter did not become an official legal holiday until much later, Pastor Carl decided to continue an Easter tradition he had started about four years earlier. Pastor Carl mentioned to Deacon Charles his intention to preach a special Easter message about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ fom the dead. "A message about the Resurrection is always appropriate," said Deacon Charles, "especially around the Easter season."
"Thank you, Deacon," said Pastor Carl. "This town needs the message of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and now, more than ever, the church needs to be bold in proclaiming this truth!"
Based on large crowds for the Easter services the past several years, Pastor Carl anticipated that attendance for this year's service would be phenomenal. He asked Sheriff Cody to attend the service to ensure that if any troublemakers showed up and tried to disrupt the service, they would be escorted to jail.
"I'm happy to be of service in any way I can," Sheriff Cody replied. "You know that I'm a Christian, and I do not stand for anyone disrespecting God's house."
"I appreciate your service to this town and to the Lord," said Pastor Carl. "And I know the Lord appreciates the stand you take for Him, too."
As the pastor anticipated, Easter Sunday brought a very large number of congregants to the church. Pastor Carl preached a powerful message about the birth, life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. As Pastor Carl was nearing the conclusion of his sermon, a man affectionately known to everyone in the town as "Brother Cass" began singing a song that definitely had nothing to do with the Resurrection. In fact, the song was downright inappropriate to sing in church - or anywhere else.
"Brother Cass" always attended the special Easter services but had never interrupted any of the services he had attended. "Excuse me, Brother Cass," said Pastor Carl. "Would you mind waiting until the service is over to finish singing your song?"
Brother Cass, who had drunk about a half-dozen shots of whiskey before he arrived for the service, replied. "No, Pastor, I don't mind at all. I've already waited for two hours waiting for you to conclude your sermon. I don't think another few minutes will be any problem at all!"
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Greg Miller 2011
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