“Look at that huge billboard Ada! Doesn’t it look gross?” asked Esther. Ada and Esther were walking. Ada craned her neck to see it. “BRILLIANT TV PREACHER COMING TO OUR TOWN! DON’T MISS THE MEETINGS AT THE TOWN HALL” screamed the Billboard with a huge cut out of the immaculately dressed preacher Samson.
“Oh! Esther! Isn’t it lovely? We can see Pastor Samson live in our own town! We must go and meet him. Please come with me. We’ll take some prayer oil and get it blessed by him” said Ada as she clutched Esther’s hand.
“Will it be worth our while to go and hear him Ada? I wonder” said Esther. They walked along and made plans to attend the morning meeting on the opening day.
The preacher Samson cleared his throat and paused. His aide Joshua sprang up to him on the podium and handed him a glass of drinking water. After he took a sip, Joshua carefully deposited the tumbler at the edge of the transparent lectern. He swiftly returned to his lowly stool.
“Brothers and Sisters”, thundered the preacher, “the Word of the Lord for us today is this. Humble yourselves before the Lord and then He will lift you up. Remember the words of John the Baptist. ‘He must increase, I must decrease’ Yes my dear children of God, we must humble ourselves. The Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and His Name alone must be given all glory and honour all over the earth. Shall we say Amen?”
Shouts of “Hallelujah! Amen & Praise the Lord” alternated with, “Go on preacher man” The hall reverberated with these heartfelt responses.
After he finished with the message, Pastor Samson came down. Joshua ran to collect his Bible and briefcase. He walked ahead of the preacher, making way for him. The meeting was still going on. Ada rushed to the foyer as the preacher reached there. She had a small bottle of olive oil with her. “Pastor Samson, I am a regular viewer of your messages on the Faith Today TV Channel. We are so privileged to see hear you in person here. Please would you pray briefly for this oil.” She requested.
Samson didn’t even pause as he strode ahead, a plastic smile pasted on his face. Joshua stopped briefly to whisper, “Later sister later. See him after the evening meeting”
Ada was heart broken. Esther came close to her and hugged her. “You got the brush off. Didn’t you? Don’t worry. Let’s go.”
‘I I never expected he’ll be so brusque…” stammered Ada as they walked back home.
They were not the only ones. Quite a few people were sent off by Samson with out even a simple hello. Joshua was trying to placate them.
Sitting in his limousine at the driveway, Samson barked, “Hey Joshua come fast we must go”. Joshua scurried fast and sat in the front. “Am sorry Sir…” he murmured as the driver accelerated.
Dust and smoke from the fast disappearing car shrouded the few faithful who were persistent to meet Samson.
“Ada, do you remember what the Pastor spoke about today?” asked Esther as she sipped her cup. Both of them were enjoying tea at home.
“Yes Esther, it was about humility, wasn’t it?” replied Ada as she set her cup down.
“You know what Ada,” replied Esther, “I am reminded of a verse in the Bible. The Lord Jesus Christ, speaking about the Pharisees, says, ‘…Follow their instructions. But you must not imitate their lives. For they preach but do not practice…’ (Mathew 23:2, 3: Phillips Modern English). What do you say Ada?”
“I don’t know what to say Esther. I had great expectations of him. I am completely disappointed with him.”
“Well Ada, let us look to the One who never disappoints. Let us look our Lord Jesus and continue the race towards heaven.” Said Esther as she finished her tea.
“Yes Esther, I agree with you. Let us not look at those who do not practice what they preach.” She said as she began to collect the empty cups.
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