The church was packed with family and kin,
Children and youth and all of their friends.
Our windows were all polished with care,
Reflecting the love which dwelt with us there.
We vacuumed the carpet and scrubbed the floors:
To keep God’s house clean is no easy chore—
But our people had a will to work;
To serve the Lord Jesus and build his Church.
When the curtains were hung – all custom made
We celebrated with cake and pink lemonade.
How excited we were when the new hymnals came!
We thanked our Jesus and praised His dear name!
New sound equipment did finally arrive,
Paid for in full by the youth’s paper drive.
Children’s church was the best thing around;
We saw kids saved from all over town!
But, one day, some members began to talk –
Really, they grumbled and started to squawk!
Some couldn’t agree on some minor concern
And a few member’s stomachs began to churn.
We noticed one day by the chart on the wall
That visitors weren’t coming at all.
Then the busses broke down, one at a time;
But to get them repaired, there wasn’t a dime!
The bills came due, as well as the rent
‘Cause God’s people withheld their ten percent.
Well, the gossipers left with some sisters and brothers;
My family left too, and so did some others.
Long-time members began to get peeved –
And, one by one, they too did leave.
They closed the church doors and locked every room;
The place became silent, like an empty tomb.
Then, from the curtains, the Devil stepped out,
And with great victory began to shout:
“It’s mine, all mine!” as he danced about.
The demons arrived with their entire band,
To sing and celebrate and reclaim their land.
And so, you see, when we do not forgive,
Satan comes and begins to sieve.
Yes, forgiveness can be such a bother,
But Jesus commanded us to “Love one another.” (Jn.13:34)
—- written by John Knoles while on active duty
as a USAF Chaplain’s Assistant in 1979.