A viral internet story that swooped through the internet last August is said to be a hoax. Still a number of blogs and websites are posting the story to illustrate a powerful biblical parable worthy of PATH’s mention.
Read the story of the Pastor who tested his congregation, and let us know if your church flock would pass the homeless test.
“Pastor Jeremiah Steepak did a test on his congregation, one that would teach them a lesson they would never forget. The pastor dressed as a homeless man and went to the very same church he ran. As he walked around the church that morning, only three people said hello to him. The pastor asked for people to give him money to buy food, and all of them said, “no.”
When the pastor tried to sit near the front of the church, the ushers told him to sit in the back. Apparently, they believed that God didn’t want to see homeless people, only those with clean clothing.
The pastor says that he said hello to the people in the back, and they only looked at him with cold, icy stares. It happened to be the first day that the new pastor would be preaching at the church and he was introduced to the congregation at the end of the morning announcements.
“We would like to introduce to you Pastor Jeremiah Steepek,” one of the deacons announced.
As the congregation clapped with excitement, people were wondering why the homeless man was walking toward the front of the church. When he got to the front, he gave them the first words of his very first sermon:
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
‘The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
When the pastor told his congregation what he’d just experienced, some of them cried. Nearly everyone felt some sense of shame for the way they treated the homeless man who asked for money for food.
He then said, “Today I see a gathering of people, not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples. When will YOU decide to become disciples?”
What a great way to start his tenure.”
It is still un-sure how this story originated and whether it’s true, but if the Pastor does exist we would love to meet him!