When my oldest granddaughter, who is now the mother of many of my great grandchildren, became Bat Mitzva I wrote a book for her with advice and stories. I do not remember which stories I created and which I found in other works. Here is one such story, Enjoy!
Once a synagogue had fallen on hard times. Only five members were left: the cantor and four others, all over sixty years old.
In the mountains near the shul lived a retired Rabbi. It occurred to the five to ask the Rabbi if he could offer any advice that might save the shul.
The cantor and the Rabbi spoke at length but when asked for advice, the Rabbi simply responded by saying, "I have no advice to give. The only thing I can tell you is that one of you is the Mashiach.”
Returning to the shul, the cantor told the four other synagogue members what the Rabbi had said. In the months that followed, the elderly synagogue members pondered the words of the Rabbi.
"The Mashiach is amongst us?", they each asked themselves. As they thought about this possibility, they all began to treat each other with extraordinary respect, on the off-chance that one among them might indeed be the Messiah. And, on the off-chance that each member himself might be the Mashiach, they also began to treat themselves with extraordinary care.
As time went by, people visiting the shul noticed the aura of respect and gentle kindness that surrounded the five old members of the small shul.
Without any apparent reason, more people began returning to worship at the old synagogue. They brought their friends, and their friends brought even more friends, within a few years the small shul had once again become a thriving congregation!
Indeed, each and every one of us is a potential Mashiach – and we can start his work before he comes …”