Yes, it’s another post about church and stuff. Mixed bag, this week, with three–count ’em–THREE sermons and one Old Testament reading.

First, the sermons were all brilliant, about which more anon.

The Old Testament reading SUCKED ROTTEN BIRD EGGS. It was Proverbs 1:20-33, which we were to read responsively along with the pastor, and it was such a stinkeroo I stopped reading the congregation’s part–not that anybody noticed. They may have noticed my growling, “Baloney!” at the end, but nobody said so, so they probably didn’t. Here’s where it went south for me:

So I will laugh when you are in trouble. I will make fun when disaster strikes you, when disaster comes over you like a storm, when trouble strikes you like a whirlwind, when pain and trouble overwhelm you. Then you will call to me, but I will not answer. You will look for me, but you will not find me. It is because you rejected knowledge and did not choose to respect the Lord. You did not accept my advice, and rejected my correction. So you will get what you deserve; you will get what you planned for others.

This is supposed to be Wisdom speaking. Now, I’m asking: Does that sound like Wisdom to you–particularly God’s Wisdom? I don’t think so. It’s crap like that that makes me glad the Disciples of Christ focuses on the New Testament more than the Old. Here’s a multiple choice quiz, with answer key provided:

If Jesus of Nazareth (called by some The Christ) saw human suffering, even self-inflicted suffering, he would

  1. Weep, embrace the suffering, take it on himself, speak words of repentance and love and invite the sufferer to healing (yes)
  2. Laugh, point at the sufferer and sing, “Na-na-na-boo-boo! You’re sittin’ in poo-poo!” (no)

So, anyway, I was not best pleased with today’s Old Testament scripture reading.

The sermon at our church, by Marc Wessels, our interim minister, was super! It was about taking up your cross to follow Jesus. He recommended two books, Imitation of Christ and In His Steps (a novel). I think we have a copy of Imitation of Christ around here somewhere *rummage, rummage*. If not, I’m going to look for it. Anyway, the sermon was about dying to yourself–thinking about others, considering the effects before you speak or act instead of saying or doing whatever you feel like, following Jesus’ example in your everyday life, not just coming to church and then taking nothing back into the world with you. There was a lot more to it, but I can’t reprint it all. An excellent sermon.

Then I went to St. Paul’s AME homecoming picnic at the park (took my macaroni salad, naturally). Again naturally, I got there just in time for them to take up offering. Never fails. I think pastors see me coming through the door and tell the ushers to grab a plate. Anyway, after the offering, the pastor spoke on The Parable of The Prodigal Son. She spoke to the problems of BOTH sons–the one who wanted everything NOW, before he had the wisdom and experience to use it well, and the one who was bitter and jealous because their father forgave the bad one who humbled himself and repented. She said, “We ought not to be jealous about what somebody else has, because what God has for me is mine and what God has for my brother is my brother’s.” Again, there was more to it than I can copy down.

The third sermon was by a man who was at the picnic, who stood up and opened his bible and had at it. This man has refurbished The Silver Dollar Saloon down on the creek and turned it into a church. He spoke on the subject of St. Paul. He free-associated on the subject of St. Paul, is what he did. You never heard such a collection of disjointed nonsequiturs, variations on a theme and ramblings around a subject in your life. I was fascinated. I just sat there, like, “Dude…!” I was like, “Wow, if I were stoned, this would SO make sense!”

We had a great meal after, and my “Sister” Jewel and I broke into spontaneous song and did a verse of “The Old Rugged Cross” before I left.

Then I got home, and learned that our #2 daughter’s wicked chickens have been laying eggs in other places than their nests, so we only have four home-grown eggs this week. But I’m not bitter. I’m not angry. I don’t hope nobody feeds THEM. I rise above it. Mmmm-hmm.

MA

writing prompt: Pick out a sentence from a book or newspaper and have a character get all worked up about it, pro or con.

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