As the words of the opening hymn faded from the screen behind the pulpit, Pastor John began to give the weekly announcements. "Good morning," he exclaimed.
"Good morning," came the sleepy reply from the congregation.
"Oh, we can do better than that. Good morning!"
"Good morning," came the slightly louder, if not slightly annoyed reply.
"Ah. That's better. If you would all open your bulletins with me, there's a registration card in there. But we like to call them...."
The established members of the church listened closely. There was another name?
"...Well, um... we like to call them registration cards," Pastor John replied with a chuckle and a shake of his head. "There's nothing like trying to come up with a new name for something in an instant to put you in your place."
The announcements continued. After the offering was taken, Pastor John once again walked up to the pulpit.
"I'd like everyone to turn with me in their Bibles to the book of John.
"...And that, my friends, is what Christmas is really all about. Sure, we celebrate the birth of Christ, but the ultimate message of Christmas is the cross!"
Pastor John looked at the members of his fellowship to see if he had made an impact. To his horror, no one was paying attention to him. Some members were looking around the sanctuary frantically, some were desperately trying to avoid eye contact, while others were trying to conceal laughter. Pastor John instinctively put his hand on the front of his waistline. No, his pants were zipped up. That wasn't it. One brave member finally pointed to the screen behind the pulpit.
John turned around to see a Solitaire game on the screen behind him, being played in real time. Now that he knew, the congregation was looking at him wide-eyed, fearing for the fate of the culprit. He motioned for everyone to be quite and play along with him for a bit.
The congregation scrunched up their faces in confusion as the Solitaire game continued and Pastor John continued to speak. "The cross is the real reason behind Christmas. And Samuel Michael McAllister, you might want to try putting that black six on the red seven."
The congregation burst into laughter. Pastor John smiled and looked directly at his own son in the sound booth at the back of the sanctuary. Samuel's face turned as red as the bow on the wreath behind him, as he looked at his dad and saw the evidence of his infraction displayed for the world to see. He looked for a quick escape, but it was useless. The laughter died down as people wiped tears from their eyes.
"Well, I think that's about it for today. Just remember to keep the cross in the forefront of your mind this Christmas season. And Samuel?" Pastor John waited for his son to uncover his face and look at him. "We'll talk about this at home." With that, he stepped away from the pulpit, shaking his head and chuckling to himself. This would certainly be a Sunday to remember.
This is based on a true story, with some embellishments added, and names (mostly) changed to protect the (mostly) innocent.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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