Even a swimming pool has a shallow end, i remind myself as I begin to give this account of the little church on Reedy Creek. (my own shallowness, that is, not the church's) Some have compared it to a chameleon, because its name keeps changing according to the circumstances. The pastor seems always to be carrying his little cardboard box of black and red letters out to the marquis in front of the church and back to make the latest adjustment. If, for example, there is a pressing material need amidst the congregation he changes the name to "The First Church of NEEDY Creek." Or if he's preaching against marijuanna or laziness in regard to maintaining gardens (and sometimes they are related) he changes the sign to "Weedy Creek." Or the time he noticed some stinginess in the giving he changed it to, you got it, "Greedy Creek." As far as neighbors were concerned it seemed the church could not make up its mind what it wanted to be called, and, in a sense, they were right. When the pastor noticed the women competing over who had the most beautiful necklace he changed the marquis to "Beady" Creek, and he always put the fluctuating word before Creek in red letters so people were less likely to miss it that way. He and the deacons said that at least in this way the passersby knew something of what was transpiring in the church, which would motivate the church not to embarrass itself or its pastor. When he preached about the seed of Abraham he called the church "Seedy" Creek or about the faith of Abraham he called in "Deedy" Creek because faith is the title deed to our unseen inheritance he said, yes indeedy! If the church was going through some especially sticky problems he would change its name to "First Church of Knee Deep Creek" or, finally, if the deacons or elders thought he had preached a particularly profound sermon that Sunday they changed the name to "Meaty Creek," being careful not to give him a big head about it. One of the more literary elders was helped in this by the memory of a line from a folksy poet that went, "The earth is strewn with the burst bladders of the puffed up." And this neither they nor we would ever want for Reedy Creek, which brings us full circle for it was when he preached on baby Moses being drawn out of the reeds that the pastor reverted back to putting the original name "Reedy" Creek on the marquis. Then, too, there was one title that never made it to the marquis but merits inclusion here and that was "Speedy" Creek when there was a proposed skateboard competition in the sanctuary for the following Sunday to encourage attendance, but the pastor put his foot down quoting Clint Eastwood at the board meeting: "A man (or a church) has got to know his limits." "Where in the Bible is that, pastor?" asked one rather contentious deacon. "Never mind. Skateboards in the sanctuary NO WAY, but in the parking lot after the service....maybe." Well, I could go on and on, and you possibly could too, thinking of temporary titles that have probably already appeared on that marquis, since we all know "there's nothing new under the sun!"
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