There once was a church in a place far away
They were proud as they entered the church every day
Every time the doors opened, they’d fill up the pews
And when burning bush talked, they’d remove their shoes.
They shook hands with love, and greeted each other,
When having a meal, invited one another
They’d pray for the people, who never came in
They’d pray for their budgets when wallets seemed thin
This lovely old church found so far from here
Their singing of songs was lovely to hear
Always on tune, and always on key
They were often mistaken for those who sang professionally.
One day in this church, found so far from here
A young man came around, who’s purpose wasn’t quite clear
He sat when they stood, making some of them nervous
Just what was he hiding, beneath the surface?
A task force was formed, to follow the lad
To observe his actions, and judge good or bad
They listened and watched, and saw what they thought
He cussed and he drank, he stole and he fought
This task force reported, next gathering time
Something had to be done, this was crossing the line
A decision was made, to proclaim with some flair
The next time the young man attended for prayer.
The scene was all set, and parishioners waited
As the young man approached , the moment seemed baited
The line had been cast, and the hook was quite clear
But they hadn’t expected just what they might hear.
Their pastor began, “Lord thanks for revealing,
The ignorant ways of those who are stealing,
Those who are drinking, and those who do curse
Are like crumbs at the bottom of a grandmothers’ purse.”
“Thank you that we are not like those without,
without reason to live, so much reason to doubt,
They think they are happy, they think they are fine,
They think they can see, but are completely blind.”
“So God we are thankful, we aren’t like those people
The one’s who have never even been under a steeple
They don’t know the words to each chorus we sing
They don’t know your Word, Lord they don’t know a thing.”
“Thank you for making us so good and wise,
We invite you to look on us with both of your eyes,
To see the incredible things that we’ve done,
To honor your ways, and to worship your son.”
The words had been spoken, and they were assured
By their holy speaking, he’d see Christ as Lord
He’d cry at their altar, and they’d smile when
Eventually he would become just like them.
But we shouldn’t be shocked at this point to find out
It wasn’t their words that turned him about
He wasn’t moved by their spotless approach
And didn’t seem to desire them as coach.
He ran to the altar, that place of their pride
Fell down on the floor, with his arms open wide
They tried to keep singing, as planned from the start
But they couldn’t keep from being warmed by his heart.
He prayed, “Oh God look at me, stumbling along,
In need of your mercy much more than a song,
If you don’t respond, I’m not sure what I’ll do,
But I know that if I’m to make it, I need grace from you.”
With that he bowed, and tears ran like a stream
So much that the altar had started to gleam
The people were taken by such a sight
And felt like maybe they weren’t doing alright
The way this young man, depended on God
The way that his tears at first just seemed odd
Reminded each one of the early days spent
Receiving forgiveness as they would repent.
And so one by one, these people came up
As those who’d been emptied, uplifting their cups
Not for his approval, or seeking his prize
But simply to be seen by the loving Father’s eyes.
Revival had come to that morning at service
Though it came in a way that makes you and I nervous
To let go of all our reasons we stand,
Our trophies, our titles, and empty our hands
To throw ourselves down, at his Mercy seat
Father, Son, Spirit, whom washes our feet
Our tears may flow also, as we receive love
So undeserved, and so free from above…