Sunday, 8 March 2015

Temper in the Temple

A Pause in Lent Floss
(image from

Joining in with Ang at Tracing Rainbows for today's Pause in Lent.

The gospel reading for today was the story of Jesus overturning the tables in the Temple and clearing out the money changers.  He was indignant, angry, incensed, at the lack of reverence for the house of God.  A far cry from the gentle Jesus that we read about some of the time.

There was a flare up of indignation at our chapel this morning too, right as I was about to begin the service. I had just explained that the preacher for next Sunday was ill and would not be taking the service, but that the administrator had asked for other volunteers to take the services that he would be unable to do. I let the congregation know that if no one came forward, I would provide them with the service that I would be taking elsewhere, and they could share it between them.

A comment came from my right from a lady concerned that I not leave them the "unintelligible drivel" I had provided on a previous Mothering Sunday.

A lady on my left immediately leapt to my defense, and was quite plain in the expression of her own thoughts about the timing and content of the other person's opinion.

They hadn't even heard the gospel at that point.

I stood at the lectern, about to take the service and uncomfortable at the confrontation and unsure of just what to say.  Another lady in the congregation helped me out by saying that she hoped someone volunteered to come and take our service so that I didn't have to worry about them.

It was not the most conducive start to a service I have ever had.  It made me think though,
 about the aptness of the gospel and the behaviour of some people in the church today and in the Temple back then.  There are times and places for the frank expression of views, and that wasn't it.

I hope your Sunday morning has been less controversial.

[BTW, the reading I had provided that the lady was upset about was either from Glennon Melton or Ann Voskamp, and since both of them are published authors and well-respected truth-tellers, I know it wasn't drivel! It was about motherhood, though, rather than the Mother Church, which I think was the lady's problem.]


Angela said...

There's always one - perhaps she would like to spend time preparing and studying and then delivering a service [whilst holding down a job, looking after a home and family...]
Try not to let it rankle, and concentrate on the next thing you've been called to do! love and blessings xx

Morgan said...

Thanks, Ang. It was coincidental how it fitted in with the gospel, but the lady's timing could have been better. She comes from a different faith background, I believe, and has some individual beliefs which we don't completely understand, so I would have been interested to hear from her more privately about her thoughts on the service at a better time.

veeknits19 said...

It's amazing how some people like to criticise but don't step up to help when needed. please don't take it to heart. Constructive criticism, or honest feedback, at an appropriate time is a different thing altogether. Thinking of you, Vee x

Frugally challenged said...

Love and blessings from another fellow preacher here too. Sad when stuff happens when one is about to preach as it colours things so much, but maybe she too has reflected on her behaviour. I hope so.

Sarah Head said...

It's times like those when you have to smile sweetly and offer the lady an opporunity to provide something herself. If she has a problem with motherhood rather than thinking about the mother church, it might be interesting to pose how mothering sunday was introduced into the UK church calendar as a direct response to losing the feminine aspect of deity when the reformation happened. With the loss of the Virgin Mary there was no female aspect of the divine so the Mother church had to be inserted to try and placate the masses. The secularisation of Mothering Sunday into Mother's Day brings a whole new ballgame and if done thoughtlessly can end up feeling like Mothers' Day in Russia where women were definitely second or third class citizens.

Gary said...

Constructive criticism is one thing - comments like that are another altogether.

LAGL said...

Got to love church - with the body of Christ made up of us lot its not really surprising you find the odd wart or two!!

The naughty part of me suggests finding who is charge of the notice sheets and putting her name in as preacher next Sunday. It might not be what is planned but it will probably give a few moments of amusement!

Its probably best to be more holy than that and rise above it but some people!!!

Hope the rest of your Sunday was much better.


Fiona Kennedy said...

Oh dear not the best start to your service.

rabbitquilter said...

I can't believe anyone would make a fuss like that. I hope you said, if she felt she could do better, the Pulpit is her's!! Please don't let the silly lady worry you. I have no doubt you are a fine Speaker, and there always has to be one who is there to test you!!! Sending love to you X X

Kezzie said...

That was a rather unloving thing to say! Hopefully she will have realised how insensitive that was. It's funny that the visiting vicar today was talking about people being rude about a community breakfast that people lovingly put on- some people just don't think about the effort others put in!x

SusanM said...

At our local senior citizens club lunch, a lady pointed to a newcomer and announced very loudly and rudely that She wasn't one of us and didn't belong here!! The newcomer was so upset that she never went back again which was a shame. It just takes one! I think the expression if you have nothing nice to say then keep quiet has a lot going for it. Please don't let it get you down. Good luck with YFG's exams this week. My son did his mocks several weeks ago but has had assessments ever since. We have 'Nabs' up here and pupils must pass 3 in every subject in order to be allowed to sit the actual end of year exam. And the pass marks are set quite high. They are allowed one resit if they fail a Nab and if they fail that, they are not allowed to sit the end of year exam x

Pom Pom said...

Hmmmm. I wonder what's really bothering her. I hope she looks inward and finds Him waiting for her there. I'm sure you handled it beautifully.
Our pastor says preaching is for unbelievers and teaching is for believers. It's nice to focus on the teaching of the Word without fancy maneuvers. Bless you as you follow Him. Thank you for your Pause.