A drunk walks into a church ....
I know, it sounds like the start of a bad joke.
But yesterday at our worship service, just before the choir was to sing the anthem, a very inebriated man walked in and sat at the back of the sanctuary.
During the singing of a very powerful anthem, those of us in the choir could see the man was moved by the singing when he threw a triumphant fist high into the air, as if to say "Yes!!".
The sermon that followed was on the theme of inclusiveness, focusing on the words within the United Church of Canada crest, "Ut omnes unum sint", "That all may be one". The challenge of living this call of inclusiveness was brought into stark reality when the inebriated man mumbled incoherently at periodic intervals during the sermon. Toward the end of the sermon, the man abruptly stood up and said some words that were quite disjointed and unintelligible, and then ended by shouting in a clear voice,
"I love you, and there is f***-all you can do about it!" He then left.
When the shock of the profanity settled a bit, one of our choir members leaned over and whispered,
"Isn't that kind of what God says?"
Reverend Bev did a great job, asking us to join her in a short prayer to think about God's challenging call to be inclusive. At the end of the sermon Barry Kitchen softly played "Draw the Circle Wide" as we meditated on the sermon and what happened.
Note to Bev: New sermon title - I Love You, And There's Nothing You Can Do About It.
For those who, like me, were distracted from hearing the full message of the sermon, you can hear the audio by clicking here.
Posted by Hank