A new pastor in Topeka, Kansas, USA, spent the first four days making personal visits to each of his prospective congregation inviting them to come to his inaugural services.
The following Sunday the church was all but empty. Accordingly, the pastor placed a notice in the local newspapers, stating that, because the church was dead, it was everyone’s duty to give it a decent Christian burial. The funeral would be held the following Sunday afternoon.
Morbidly curious, a large crowd turned out for the ‘funeral’.
In front of the pulpit they saw a closed coffin which was covered in flowers. After the pastor had delivered the eulogy, he opened the coffin and invited his congregation to come forward and pay their final respects to their dead church.
Filled with curiosity as to what would represent the corpse of a ‘dead church’, all the people eagerly lined up to look in the coffin. Each ‘mourner’ peeped into the coffin then quickly turned away with a guilty, sheepish look.
In the coffin, tilted at the correct angle, was a large mirror.
Mt 23:27 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.”