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Minister

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November 22, 2017 · 14:06

God’s Frozen People

Christ’s words: ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you invited me in; I needed clothes and you clothed me; I was sick and you looked after me; I was in prison and you came to visit me…..

And he concludes:‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

 

In his poem “How the Great Guest Came,” Edwin Markham tells of an old cobbler who made elaborate preparations for a dreamed-of visit from the Lord

The Lord never came. But when a beggar came, the cobbler put shoes on his feet.

When an old lady came, the cobbler helped her with her load and gave her food.

When a lost child came, the cobbler took her back to her mother.

Then soft in the silence, he heard a gentle voice:

‘Lift up your heart, for I kept my word.
Three times I came to your friendly door;
Three times my shadow was on your floor.
I was the beggar with bruised feet,
I was the woman you gave to eat,
I was the child in the homeless street.’

 

Ours is increasingly a society where even some Christians are less like the Good Samaritan and more like those who passed by on the other side of the road.

Reach out? No! Too risky…. and in many cases we want to Lord it over others.

Let me tell you a story from the Archives….

I was ordained and inducted to my first Charge in 1974. Of course, as part of my pastoral ministry, I visited the elderly & infirm.

One one particular occasion, I called round to see this particular parishioner, an elderly lady who was housebound.

On this day, it was desperately cold and her home-help hadn’t managed to come along that day; as a result, the fire wasn’t lit.

The obvious thing was for me to go to the coal bunker outside, bring in the coal, and light the fire.

She would have none of this! Scandalised: “you CAN’T do that!” Explaining that a “man in your position” should not stoop …. etc

But I did. Got the jacket off, rolled up the sleeves, brought in the coal…..

….and after 20 minutes or more, and almost a full packet of firelighters and a box of matches used up…..nothing, no spark, no flame, zilch.

I got a look that said, ‘I told you – you shouldn’t have bothered!’

Of course, the word “Minister” comes from the same root as “minor” – lesser, and so one who serves.

In our ministry, as the people of God and as disciples of Christ, let’s never lose track that we have been called to serve – the highest calling, the greatest honour any of us could possibly have

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Heaven

A minister was testing children in a Glasgow Sunday School class to see if they understood the concept of getting into Heaven.

He asked them, “If I sold my car, all my CDs, books, iPad and PC, and everything I have, had a huge jumble sale, and gave all my money to charities and to the church, would that get me into Heaven?”

As one, the children yelled,”NO!!!”

“If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the Kirk lawn, and kept everything tidy, would that get me into Heaven?”

Again: “NO!!!”

By this time, the minister was starting to smile.

“Well then, suppose I was kind to animals, gave sweeties to all the children, and loved my wife, would that work?”

Again, they all answered: “NO!!!”

Now, the minister was bursting with pride for them

He continued, “Then how can I get into Heaven?”

A six year old boy shouted out…………

“Ye’ve got tae be deid furst!”

 

 

 

 

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Home Alone

A minister, visiting his Parishioners, knocks on a particular door.

It’s is opened by a boy about 8 or 9, glass of brandy in one hand, cigar in the other, betting slip poking out from his pocket, and “girlie” magazine tucked under his arm.

The minister says, “are your mum and dad in?”

Kid says “Does it look like it?”

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Strange days

A strange one….yesterday I conducted a wedding at a local popular venue. First of all, the couple were delightful & the guests lovingly supportive toward the bride and groom…..but, here’s a thing: after the ceremony and the signing of the legal papers, having wished the couple well, on my way out I said to the company that I hoped that they would have a great celebration at the reception & a safe journey home. Added my thanks for their being there to rejoice with the bride and groom on that particularly happy day…… and got a round of applause!

But that’s not the strange bit. Before the service, I chatted to a new member of staff. Was asked if I were a minister (the dog-collar should have been a giveaway!) Answer: ‘yes – Church of Scotland’

‘Are you allowed to get married? Or have sex?’

‘Yes, but I’m a widower’

‘Are you in a relationship?’

‘No. And who would want a 69 year old wee fat man who is retired?’

‘Unless they’ve got loads of money’

Silence

‘You’re retired – does the Church still (?) give you a car?

“No, I’ve got my own”

“What kind?” ………..

…… so, after the ceremony, he follows me into the car park to look at my Jaguar – and asked if he could reverse it.

Saved by the piper – escorting the marriage party out. He had to dash back to get on with work.

Strange. Very strange

 

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On yer bike!

Minister cycling home one very dreich , dismal, rainy evening greets a lady on the pavement as he passes by – “Dirty evening Mrs Smith”.

“Aye and the same to you Reverend”.

 

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speak now… or forever hold your peace

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April 19, 2016 · 16:51

Our beloved minister

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December 14, 2015 · 11:44

Tricked – and no Treat

I remember in my first Charge (in the mid-70s) being “informed” by the congregation’s know-all as to “what Hallowe’en is actually about”

“Now, Reverend, do you know what Hallowe’en really is?”

“Yes – it is actually ‘Samhain’, an old Celtic festival – it means “Summer’s End” is a celebration of the end of the harvest and the start of the coldest half of the year.”

She looked at me in pity, with a look that implied that Divinity faculties weren’t teaching their students properly these days.  A dismissive laugh. “No, no” condescendingly, “It’s a contraction of ‘All Hallows Eve” – the evening before All Saints Day; the word ‘hallow’ (as in the Lord’s Prayer – “hallowed be thy Name”) meaning ‘holy'”

She looked smugly at me, in a manner that shouted “That’s him telt”

“Away and stick your broomstick up yer arse!” I replied …… actually I didn’t; instead I thanked her politely for “putting me right” and complimented her on her knowledge.

Pity the poor young minister whose members often like to flaunt their superior understanding of God, the Universe, and all that stuff.

Happy Samhain!

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The Traffic Warden’s Funeral

As the coffin was being lowered into the grave at a traffic warden’s funeral, a voice from inside the casket could be heard – Screaming at the top of his voice, the “dead” traffic warden shouted “I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m not dead!! Let me out!  Please let me out!”

The Minister smiled, leaned forward, and expressionlessly muttered, “Too late, pal, I’ve already done the paperwork”

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