The Day The Church Was Closed
by David Phelps
(From an idea by Ray Norris)

One Sunday morn I went to church,
As I had often done.
There were no cars parked on the street.
There wasn’t anyone

Around the place to greet and wave,
No one to speak or sing.
And I recalled that I had not
Heard morning church bells ring.

I climbed the steps. The door was locked.
I stopped and peered within.
I rang the bell. I stood and knocked,
My patience wearing thin.

I went  ’round to another door
But it was also locked.
Stained glass shadows and empty pews.
It all was quite a shock.

I turned and saw the corner sign.
“Church closed,” was all it said.
“Church closed?” This dear old church of mine?
I felt a sense of dread.

I now recalled I’d heard them say,
“We’re struggling desperately,”
And now the church was closed today.
But how? How could it be?

Some years ago, I’d made a vow:
My presence, prayers and gifts.
My promise came back to me now.
How could it end like this?

I'd always helped–well, usually.
One gift couldn’t matter.
This couldn’t be because of me.
Please, oh holy father!

I knelt and prayed there on the ground.
“Oh, please, don’t let this be!
I’d always be there for my church,
If it were there for me.

I sat up weeping with a start.
It had been just a dream!
But dread remained within my heart.
How very real it seemed.

I rose and dressed and rushed to church
And found an answered prayer:
Through open doors, sweet hymns of faith
Came drifting on the air.

But was it really just a dream
Or perhaps a vision?
Could God have spoken just to me?
I made a decision.

I’d do my part, I’d give my all,
I’d pray and work and give.
I’d always be there for my church,
So it might always live.

Copyright © 1998 by Maplewood UMC

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” – Mother Teresa