I received this email from my aunt this morning.  It is a sad, but truth that faces many of us in churches.  As a previous post stated, I too, struggled with parts of this very truth.

One  day, a man went  to visit a church. He got there early, parked his  car and  got  out. Another car pulled up near the driver  got out and said, ‘I always park there! You took my place!’ The visitor went  inside for Sunday school, found an empty seat and sat down. A young lady  from the church approached him and stated, ‘That’s my seat! You  took my  place!’ The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude  welcome, but said  nothing.

After  Sunday school, the  visitor went into the sanctuary and sat down. Another  member  walked up to him and said, ‘That’s where I always sit! You took my  place!’ The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment, but still he said nothing.

Later as the congregation was praying for  Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood up, and his  appearance began to change.

Horrible scars became visible on his hands  and on his sandaled feet. Someone from the congregation noticed him  and called out, ‘What happened to  you?’

The  visitor  replied, as his hat became a crown of thorns, and a tear fell from  his eye,

 ‘I took your place.’