It’s not a good day for a lecture.
It is a good day for compassion and understanding.
It’s not a good day for a lecture, though. Not at all.
Rather, it is a good day for silence, for the absence of easy answers or solutions that make the solution giver feel good but leave the recipient numb or angry or friendless.
It, God, is not a good day for a lecture, and God knows, the world is full of lecturers. Tranform lecturers, God, into carers, listeners, comforters, people who know their presence is more important than what they know or think they know.
Just wanted to let you know, God, that today is a very bad day for a lecture. Amen.
I got to visit Annie and Richard Wylie this week. I am the luckiest pastor in the world and one of the reasons I say so is because I get to spend time with such interesting people. I’m always learning something. On this visit, for example, I learned about the importance of serving the preacher “clean” chicken.
Miss Annie was taught to serve the parson clean chicken by her grandmother. In those days they didn’t have preaching every Sunday. There was a shortage of clergy. The best they could do was have a worship service with a clergy person participating every other week. Miss Annie’s grandmother had the honor and privilege of hosting the preacher when he was in town. He would stay in their home and eat in their dining room, except on those occasions when he needed to eat at the church, and in those instances Miss Annie’s grandmother prepared a picnic basket for the preacher.
Never in any meals, however, was an “unclean” chicken served to Mr. Preacher. Sounds like Leviticus, doesn’t it? Only in Leviticus, certain animals and things are clean and unclean. In this case, an animal could be clean or unclean depending on . . . . Well, there’s not a nice way to explain. Chickens eat dirt. Chickens also eat chicken shit.
A chicken that has eaten dirt and eaten chicken shit the week before it is served up is an unclean chicken. To get a clean chicken you take that chicken and put it in a special chicken coup which has a wooden floor. That way, the chicken does not eat dirt and you have a better chance of cleaning out the chicken shit before the chicken decides to have a chicken shit appetizer. Miss Annie assured me clean chickens taste better than unclean chickens. And, she took great pride in sharing that it was her kinfolk who took care of the preacher.
So there you have it. Be nice to clergy. They have a tough job. Blessed job, but tough. If at possible, serve them a clean chicken.
And do one other thing, when you have your clergy over to eat make sure your children get to eat with the clergy person. Miss Annie says in her grandmother’s time it was the practice of clergy and adults to eat first, with children eating afterward. Miss Annie says, “We didn’t do that. We didn’t got by that. My grandmother said it was important for the children to be with the preacher so we, the children, got to eat at the same time and at the same table as the preacher.”
Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. And serve the preacher clean chicken.” There you have it.
Go and do likewise, and have a super duper day.