There once was a man named George Thomas, a pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to church carrying an old, bent, rusty bird cage, and set in on the pulpit. Several eyebrows were raised, and Pastor Thomas began to speak.
“I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming towards 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 have you got there son?”
“Just some old birds,” came the reply.
“What are you going to do with them?” I asked.
“Pull out their feathers to make ’em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time.”
“But you’ll get tired of these birds sooner or later-what will you do then?”
“Oh, I got some cats-they like birds. I’ll give ’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 these birds mister. They’re just plain old dumb field birds. They don’t sing-and they ain’t even pretty!”
The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy, and said, “Ten dollars?”
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 he persuaded the birds out, setting them free.
Then the pastor began to tell the second part of his 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 a 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.
“Oh, I’m going to have fun! I’m gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse one another, how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I’m really gonna have fun!”
“And what will you do with them when you grow tired of that?”
“Oh, kill ’em. Damn them,” Satan replied.
“How much do you want for these people?” Jesus asked.
“Oh, you don’t want these people. They ain’t no good. Why, you take them, and they’ll just hate you. They’ll spit on you, and mock you. They’ll curse you, and kill you! You surely wouldn’t want these people.
Satan looked at Jesus and answered, “All your blood and tears.”
Jesus paid the price. Then He picked up the cage, and opened the door.
– Author Unknown
Ephesians 3:17-19: “So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge— that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (NIV)