Imagine what it would be like if geese could talk--then they surely would have ordered their affairs so that they too had their divine service, their worship of God. They would gather every Sunday and listen to the gander's sermon. The gander would dwell on the high density of geese, the high goal for which the Creator had designed them--and each time His name was mentioned the lady-geese would curtsy and the ganders would bow their heads. Their wings would carry them away to distant regions, blissful regions, where they truly belonged, for on earth they were like strangers in a foreign land.
Thus every Sunday. When the service was over the congregation would rise and the geese waddle home. And again next Sunday they would attend divine service--and go home--and that would be that. They would thrive and grow fat, become plump and tasty, and eventually they would be eaten on St. Martin's Eve--and that would be that. Yes, that would be that. For while listening to resounding sermons on Sundays, on Mondays the geese would have a lot to tell each other, among other things what happened to a goose who tried in earnest to use the wings the Creator had given it, destined for the high gaol set before it; yes, what happened to it, the horrors it had to endure. The geese, among themselves, knew all about it. But of course it did not behoove them to speak of it on Sundays, for, as they said, then it would become obvious that our worship actually is a mockery of God and of ourselves.
There were also among the geese a few who began to looked peaked and were losing weight. Of those the other geese said, "Well, now we certainly see where it leads, this wanting to fly in earnest. For because they constantly have this idea of flying on their minds they lose weight, don't thrive, don't enjoy God's grace like ourselves, which is why we grow plump, fat, and tasty--for God's grace makes one plump, fat, and tasty."
And again the next Sunday they would go to church, and the older gander would preach about the high goal for which the Creator (here the lady-geese curtsied and the ganders bowed their heads) had destined them, the goal for which they had been given their wings.
Thus it is with the worship of God in Christianity. Man too has wings; he has imagination. It is meant to help him really to soar--but all we do is play, we let imagination entertain us in a quiet hour, in a Sunday reverie, and for the rest we stay as we were; and then on Monday we regard it as God's grace that we grow plump, fat, tasty and put on an extra layer of yellow fat, save money, acquire prestige in the world, beget many children and are successful--all this we regard as proof of God's grace. But all those who really get involved with God and who therefore--it cannot be otherwise and according to the New Testament it isn't--suffer and look worried, have trouble, toil and affliction--of those we say, "There, it is quite obvious that they don't enjoy the grace of God."
Then when someone reads this he will say, "How fine, how very fine." And that is that--then he waddles home and strives with all his might to become plump, tasty, and fat--but on Sunday the parson delivers a sermon and he listens to it--just like the geese.