Church Life

Well, isn’t *that* special?

After the service today, at which I preached the sermon in the post below, I Don’t Want to Hear It, the visiting daughter of a church member took me aside and said, “Your sermon called me to be a prophet.”

“Really?” I wondered what was coming next.

“Yes, I felt called to show you these verses.”

She showed me the following written on the announcement sheet:

“God is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

Above it were printed neatly two scripture citations, which I saw only briefly and can remember only as “2 Cor” and “Lev.”

“Thank you,” I said, and shook her hand, and she took her paper, to my surprise, and moved on to the vestibule.

What was that? I had to think about it. Ah, well, in the sermon I did use the John Robinson quote about there being “more light and truth to break forth.” I did describe in a number of ways our discomfort with prophets who take us to a new place. And I celebrated this particular church’s inclusion of LGBT people, and I wondered about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and I generally marched around the mine field, for some people anyway, of coming to understand the world differently.

I can’t find the verse she appeared to be quoting in the books she cited. Maybe I’m missing it, but I believe that claim is made in Hebrews. Maybe she was directing me to something else, in a more subtle effort at prophecy. Since she included Leviticus, that’s probably the best guess, a side-swipe against acceptance.

I’m surprised she was surprised, since her mother’s church has a significant membership of LGBT people, and one of them served Communion to her today.

God may be the same, whenever and whenever and whenever, and we could argue the finer points of that all day long–in fact, feel free, shall we talk Process Theology?–but people are not, and if she had actually listened to the sermon, she would have heard me say that God shows us more as we become ready to understand it.

But I guess she didn’t want to hear it.

10 thoughts on “Well, isn’t *that* special?”

  1. I’m guessing you’re right.
    I once wrote a post in which I described God as the agent of change . . . I didn’t even get to the thorny question of whether God ever changes . . . and some of the reactions I got more or less told me I was heretical.
    A lot of people don’t want to hear any questioning of their status quo.

  2. What a sad, sad little quote?! Does that mean that genocide is still something God commands? I would be tempted to ask the little bearer of a prophet’s quotes for you…
    there are so many many things in the Bible that are based on the writers’ culture at that time that it makes no sense with the idea that God is the same. Of course He/She is; but we are different as writers and interpreters.

  3. Could that have been I Cor. 6:9 ? That would match well with what she probably had in mind in Leviticus.

  4. That would make more sense, but I could swear there was a 2 in there somewhere.

  5. What, you want the poor thing to be prophetic AND have legible handwriting? Maybe what looked like a two was just a very emphatic and vaguely European one…or she was SO prophetic, even her handwriting had been transformed by serif-im?
    I maintain that my own new ministry goal is to do something worthy of having Leviticus quoted at me. Can’t wait to start work on that linen-wool-blend stole with the piglet-and-shrimp motif…

  6. We could write a book based solely on post-sermon reactions. For folks like these I like to envision a bench outside of the pearly gates where they themselves get to decide whether they will go inside and join the rest of God’s beloved children or if they will refuse because ‘they’ got in.

  7. Wow.
    And yes, let’s talk process theology–I preached process theology yesterday as a matter of fact. She might have had a quote for me, too. 🙂
    Love kathyrnzj’s vision of the bench by the pearly gates!

  8. Put Flannery O’Connor’s “Revelation” right alongside Kathrynzj’s bench.
    I, for one, do believe God is the same yesterday, today and forever – and one of the things that remains the same is God’s relentless creativity and desire for new things. Frankly, God’s been poking holes in our dams of static unchangeability from day one – we’re just too stubborn to see it!

  9. yes, Hebrews 13:8. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
    MaineCelt, you crack me up: serif-im!
    So, this girl was admonishing you? Puh-lease! Maybe she doesn’t know what her mother’s church believes, although that seems hard to believe.
    Off to find something on process theology via my local library’s online catalog.

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