Pastor Don never missed a beat. Today’s sermon had everyone nodding in agreement, and some even cried.
He had a knack for picking people out of the congregation that were touched personally by his sermons. Don would motion for one or two of them to stand, and ask them what they got from the sermon. It was always very powerful.
This morning he chose someone I did not recognize. Pastor Don had to eventually ask out loud for the person to stand and respond, as the individual he pointed to was not familiar with the protocol.
The man stood, looked around the congregation, then spoke.
“Your Pastor’s sermon today was about brotherly love. You are fortunate to have someone in your midst who is both eloquent and inspiring, however he has missed a very important point.”
The man paused for just a moment as he looked at his clasped hands as if to pray. He looked to a nearby man and asked:
“You sir, did you ask God- prior to your birth – to be without hair on your head before middle age?”
Jerry, a local plumber who did a lot of free work for the church, was bald by the time he was 30. His face scrunched up as if to say “what a silly question, of course not.”
The man spoke for him with a polite “no, of course not.”
Then he addressed a nearby Black woman and asked “Did you tell God what color hair and skin color you wanted before you were born?”
Sharisa, a retired accountant always brought the best baked goods for our fund-raisers. She looked at the man and smiled, saying “No sir, but I would have if the Lord had asked.”
The man went on. “As human beings, we have been created by God exactly how he wanted us: different from each other. We have dark or light skin. We are tall or short, brilliant or average. Our parents may have been loving or abusive. But one thing is certain: we did NOT choose the circumstances into which we were born.”
“How unkind and ignorant it is to hate another human being because they are different from you; because they come from a different culture or skin color, or sexual orientation.” “Listen closely” he emphasized, “God knew you before you were born. He knows your faults, all of them. You can hide your evil tendencies from your fellows, but there’s no hiding things from God, not a thing. God also knows your greatness, even the greatness unrealized.”
If God didn’t like what He created, He wouldn’t have created it. If you were an abomination to God, do you think He would have created you?” Many in the congregation shook their head. You could hear whispers as they said “no.” The man went on saying “God doesn’t make junk. God doesn’t make mistakes.”
“We are all God’s Children. He knows our meager beginnings and walks with us in our glorious journey. He made us because He Loves us. And that makes us Lovable Brothers and Sisters in the Family of God. In fact, you live, breathe and have your being in The Mind of God. We are in truth, one with each other.”
“If you have human brothers or sisters, or children, you may not always like them, but you will always love them. God expects us to love our spiritual brothers and sisters as well.”
“How willful it is for you to turn your back to God and His children, by passing judgment on them, by hating them for who they are. You might as well tell God to go Fuck Himself.”
Your Pastor misses this point in his sermon: To judge the Children of God – your brothers and sisters – is to go against the Will of God. Jesus said, you MUST love one another as you love yourself.”
“To be sure, everyone here loves themselves. You take baths, you dress well for Church Services, you eat foods you enjoy, you speak well of yourselves. These are symptoms of your love of self. These are also symptoms of love for another, your brothers and sisters, your neighbor, or your most cherished friend. These things you must do for all of God’s children, because they are a real part of you. You will not move forward without them.”
“Some of you will understand these words I have spoken, but most of you will spend your time being upset that I used the word Fuck.” Then the man sat down.
Not a word was heard throughout the church. But the congregation was all abuzz when they returned home for their Sunday meals. In our house the big question was: who was that man, and why did he use that word in the same sentence as the Name of God.