Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: At the Pulpit (11/15/07)
TITLE: Sweet Revenge
By Kenneth Heath
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The pulpit has been the focal point of my life for many years. In my youth, the minister was “God’s man”, a person to be feared. He knew what I had been up to, even if my parents did not. Through the passage of time, some sermons left me bruised and battered; others helped me feel like a close relative to the “abomination of desolation.” Then there were those messages that up-lifted me and gave me much needed guidance and instruction. There were also those that totally confused me or allowed me an hour’s nap before my wife poked me in the ribs, as my snoring was disturbing the congregation.
Perhaps you can relate to the above, in one-way or the other. However the tables turned, when I became a Pastor. Standing behind the pulpit, I realized that I had to make the gospel interesting and fun. I believe that Jesus came to give us life and life in abundance. He is fun and I don’t think that any sermon or instruction of His ever came across harshly. I picture Him with a smiling face, encouraging his audience and patiently explaining things, so that all would understand. That’s what Love does best.
Roy, our senior Pastor was a lovely chap, but tended to be too serious. I decided to show him just how much fun it was to be a Christian. So I played numerous pranks on him, all designed to help him smile. Those included advancing the hands on the clock at the back of the church, to speed up his long sermons and covering his water glass with cling film, for when he tried to take a sip in mid sermon. Very funny and of course punishable by excommunication or worse!
One day Pastor Roy’s’ wife popped in to visit. During our conversation she mentioned a problem they were having, with guests who over stayed their welcome. I told her that the best way to get rid of guests like that, is to offer them tea or coffee. Once the beverage has been made and stirred, to break open an egg carefully and slowly add it to the beverage. The egg then sinks to the bottom of the cup, where it will lie undetected until the guest takes a last swallow. On swallowing, they will feel a large slimy mass slide down the back of their throats. Being in the Pastor’s presence they will be too polite to say any thing and will soon leave. Naturally I was only joking.
However, unbeknown to me, she decided to try it out on her husband, at our house during a home fellowship. On that evening, Pastor Roy was addressing the crowded room, when he took a swig of his favorite beverage. The deafening silence that followed was puzzling to all and he left soon afterwards. Out of the corner of my eye I had seen his wife giggling in the kitchen, but did not realize what she had been up to.
One Sunday, Pastor Roy preached on David and Goliath. He called me up to illustrate the immense size of Goliath. I thought nothing of this, as he often used me to help illustrate, various points in his sermons.
It was an extremely hot summers day and without air-conditioning our Church was like a sauna. I stood on a chair that was placed on the edge of the platform. He then called up two seventh graders, who were to represent the weight of the heavy armor that Goliath wore. I then picked one up in each arm and held them. He then gave me a long window-opening pole to hold, representing Goliaths’ spear.
Returning to the pulpit, he proceeded with his sermon. The problem was that he had not released me from my duty. So there I stood, sweat pouring from my brow and armpits, holding onto two squirming seventh graders. Twenty minutes into his message, my “body armor’ decided that they had had enough and demanded to be put down. The congregation had long since realized that I was paying penance for one of my many pranks and had lapsed into uncontrolled fits of laughter.
The words “Go lieth down, you looketh tired” had never sounded so welcome as I dragged my exhausted, sweat-soaked body into a chair. The irony is, that up until this day, he still does not know that he punished me for his wife’s actions. He definitely had the last laugh!
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