The Mannequin by the Pond

“When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,” Colossians 2:13

Last Sunday my wife and I were out for an afternoon drive. We were enjoying the fall foliage when we happened upon a lovely scene near a campground. At the entrance to the campground there was a river that emptied into a pond, a lovely covered bridge, and several historical items on display. But what caught our eye the most was the lovely mannequin of an old man fishing. It was meticulously set up beside the covered bridge and looked like it had been there many years. We pulled into the small parking lot and took in the whole scene. It was amazing.

And then we got a shock that took our breath away. The mannequin moved! Suddenly we realized it was not a mannequin after all, but a real, live elderly gentleman who was actually fishing beside the bridge. He had been standing so still, and looked so poised in the scene, that we didn’t even realize he was alive!

Perhaps it has been so many years since the community has seen any real movement ... that if the church actually did something, it would be a shock to anyone watching.

I wonder how many churches are viewed by their community just like we viewed that old man? Churches often are in central locations in town, with meticulous buildings and stately lawns. But perhaps it has been so many years since the community has seen any real movement, any meaningful activity, that if the church actually did something, it would be a shock to anyone watching.

We may appear to our community to be dead as a church. If that is the case, then we need the Lord to make us alive again through His Spirit. The community should not be shocked when our church actually does something good.

Lord, help us to find life in You and be active in serving You. May the life within us be evident to all who are watching us. Amen.

 Dr. Terry W. Dorsett serves at the executive director of the Baptist Convention of New England.