CHURCH FOLKS

I had a strange dream the other night.  In my dream Jesus came to visit our church to see if he could find a few disciples to help him with some work he seems to want to do in our town.

Of course, Jesus didn’t look like all the pictures we see in our Bibles---a long white robe and soft shining hair.  He was wearing jeans and a jacket.  He arrived a few minutes early while folks were standing around in the breezeway between the sanctuary and the church hall.  The church folks were busy having fellowship with each other and didn’t notice the stranger until he was about to open the door to the sanctuary.

“You can’t go in there; the choir is practicing,” said a woman standing near the water fountain.  Then she turned and continued her chat with some of the church folks.  

Just then a hard looking character stumbled in from the cold.   The church folks looked at each other with eyes which seemed to say, “What is this, an invasion?” Fortunately the pastor arrived and was greeted warmly by everyone.   The pastor noticed Jesus and the hard-looking man standing over by the far wall and approached them.  

“Welcome!” he said and shook their hands.  The pastor then pulled the water fountain lady aside and asked, “Who are they?  Did they come in together?   That man in the jeans seemed to recognize me, but I’m sure I’ve never seen him in my life.”

During the service Jesus and the hard-looking stranger sat together halfway up the nave.   The pastor’s sermon was entitled AMAZING GRACE, and he assured the congregation once again that the Cross Event took care of their sins, washed away their past and put them on a secure footing with the living God.   In my dream I kept watching Jesus to see what he would do with this comforting message.  In fact I found myself getting a bit angry with the Lord for sitting there like a wimp.  

In my heart I was saying, “Lord, are you going to let these half-baked Christians sit there and feel smug, while they’re told everything’s okay?  Why don’t you do something?  Why don’t you stand up and remind them that they need to repent? “  But the Lord just sat there and let things take their course. 

In my dream I began asking myself, “Is this really the Lord Jesus?   Is this the same Lord who shook up the smug and offended the complacent?   How come he just goes with the flow?   How come he doesn’t remind them of judgment, as he did so often in the gospel accounts?”

After the service, as the congregation filed past the pastor, the hard-looking street man gave the pastor a big smile and told him to keep up the good work.  But when Jesus got to the pastor, he was held for a minute as the pastor looked into his face and said, “I get the impression that you know me, but I have to confess, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you before.”   

“As a matter of fact, I do know you.  And perhaps one day you’ll remember where we first met,” responded the Lord.   “I came here today hoping to find a few people to work with me on some things I plan to accomplish.  Perhaps if I return next week they’ll turn up.  Meanwhile, I think I’ll stick with my new friend that I met here today.  The two of us should be able to make a good start.”   

Just then my radio alarm woke me, and I’ve been puzzling ever since on the meaning of this dream.   Was it the bananas I ate last night, or is God trying to tell me something?

Rev. Richard Bieber
Our Saviour, Dartmouth, NS