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.
I have been doing some research on clergy assholes and I’d like to share some conclusions with you. By clergy assholes, I’m not referring to the assholes of clergy but rather am referencing clergy who are assholes.
Of all the world’s assholes clergy assholes are some of the worst, in part, because people expect clergy not to be assholes. So when you run into a clergy asshole you think: what was this person thinking thinking God called them to be a clergy?, what was the ordination council thinking? and what was the ordaining church thinking? When you run into a clergy asshole you think: 1) gosh, I would hate to be the spouse of that clergy asshole, 2) I would hate to be the children of that clergy asshole, and 3) I would hate to be a church member in the church the clergy asshole serves.
Clergy assholes do a lot of damage to people and to churches.
Clergy assholes tend to have an I’m the messiah/savior complex, I’m the smartest person in the room syndrome, I know God better than you do attitude, and are adept at telling others what they are doing wrong and how to straighten out their lives, committee meetings, and just about anything else that requires an expert opinion.
Clergy assholes aren’t all bad. They tend to do a lot of good, but the harm they do with their narcissistic egos and insecurities leaves a wide path of destruction.
My hunch is the Apostle Paul was a clergy asshole.
St. Peter – I’m guessing he was an asshole too.
My wife and I had two clergy officiate at our wedding, my brother and my wife’s home church’s clergy. Or put another way, we had one nice clergy, my brother, and one clergy asshole officiate at our wedding. You don’t want a clergy asshole messing up parts of your special day.
Well, the good news is clergy are some of the nicest people in the world. And the good news (as in gospel) is God seems to be able to use even clergy assholes. Amazing God we have.
I’m getting ready to be apocalyptic.
Liberals are not known for being apocalyptic. Don’t worry, I haven’t gone of the deep end. Permit me to explain.
My good buddy, Frank, stopped by my house yesterday.
Frank was looking for some “fresh meat.” Or put another way, Frank dropped in to ask me to play some racquetball with him.
Write this down. Never ever trust an old racquet ball player.
Frank was old 15 years when we played racquetball together. Now he’s really old, which means now he really can’t be trusted.
Old racquetball players sucker in younger racquetball players and whip them real good.
When I first started playing racquetball at the Y in Charlotte, North Carolina, my racquetball partner was late. Seeing an old codger, actually Frank’s partner, by himself I asked if he wanted to play. I figured – beat the old guy in a few minutes and start sweating. It will be a good warm up for my real match.
So much for those plans. I got whipped 15-3. And after each point he scored the old guy turned and looked and me and grinned. He knew what I had thought. As it turns out, the guy with one foot in the grave was ranked 5th nationally in his age bracket.
Never trust an old racquetball player.
I had the opportunity to do the funeral of the guy he whipped me that day. He was one of the most fun people I’ve ver met. A very dry wit. Sharp as a tack. A Duke University grad. Boooooo! There were so many stories to tell at his funeral which was a packed house.
But back to Frank, he’s looking for some fresh meat to whip on the racquetball court. He stopped by and asked me to start playing again. He asked me five years ago and I never acted on it. But now I’ve going back to the racquetball court. I’ve even bought a new racquet. It’s called the Apocalypse.
The racquet is described in this way: A revelation in racquetball technology, E-Force’s new Apocalypse high-performance racquet is the end of times for your opponent!
As a liberal Christian, I don’t think apocalyptic thought is very Christian, but I have to confess, I hope my Apocalypse is the end times of my opponents.