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Doctrine in dialogue format



The Parsonage


when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind

Have you ever wondered what the life of a minister is like? Well wonder no longer, because it's time for The Parsonage where you will experience a day in the life of Reverend Leopold and his wife Ermintrude Bach, patriarch of the perish.

In today's episode we find Pastor Leo winding up his Christmas message. Listen:

"As you go to your respective homes, I want you to keep in mind just what Christmas is all about. Christmas is not about presents. Christmas is not about a festive meal with friends and family. And Christmas is not even about the Birth of Jesus. We celebrate the true meaning of Christmas on the birth of Jesus. But the true gift, and the true purpose is about God's greatest gift to this earth. We read in John 3:16 that God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. This is the true gift of Christmas. The Birth of Jesus is only the very beginning of the gift that God had planned for His creation even before the forming of this earth we walk on. God loves us, and He gave Himself for us. We, in return, should, and we must be willing to do the same for each other. If we don't love God, and love our neighbor as ourself, then we are neither in the Spirit of Christmas, nor are we a Christian at all.

"With this in mind, I'll now release you to your families, and may God be ever with you."

"That was a thought provoking message you preached today Pastor Leo. Thought provoking. I'd like to invite you to Christmas dinner with us, but we've kind of got a full house if you know what I mean."

"I do indeed brother Philistine. And I thank you for the thought. I would have had to turn down your kind offer anyway because I've already accepted an offer for today. Do have a splendid day, all of you."

"God gave us a gift? Christmas isn't the birth of Christ? Where do you come up with all this tripe Leo? I suggest you take a closer look at the book of established doctrines I lent you when you first came to pastor this church. We've been here for a long time, even before you were born. And in my life I've never heard such nonesense as what you preach. You had better watch your P's and Q's or I'll have to begin action to have you ousted from your position, and don't think I can't do it. Don't think that for a minute."

"I have no doubt but that you have that power sister Beadle. But I have to preach the truth as I see it. I hope you understand."

"I understand as well as you must understand why I'm not inviting you to Christmas dinner with us. For the past forty years I've had the pastor for dinner on such special occasions. But in your case I'm going to make an exception. You do understand, don't you."

"Yes sister Beadle, I do understand. I would have had to turn down your kind invitation anyway since I have already accepted an invitation for dinner."

"You would turn me down! Well! I never! Come Beauregard. I'm not going to hear such talk from a neophyte preacher. Hump!"

"Right on, Rev. You nailed it square. Love your crawlin' out a' the box, if ya' know what I mean."

"I believe a do Lanslo, I believe I do. And thank you very much."

"Then we'll be seein' ya' later. Don't be frettin' 'bout no schedule. Nothin'll start till you get there."

"Very good. Ermintrude and I will be there just as quick as we can."

"Come on in Rev! An' a mighty fine welcome to you too Mrs. Rev. Don't get much chance ta' see you outa' church. Come on, sit y'rselves down. Not there, that chairs a bit wobble-legged. Try this'n. Bit studier you know."

"Thank you. And hello to you too Honeysuckle. This is quite a table you've set. By all the plates it appears you expect to serve a lot of food to us, or you have an army coming to visit you."

"Little a' both, if the truth be known Rev. Got company comin'. Some folks what's livin' on the streets with no place ta' go this here hollerday. Don't mind, do ya' Rev?"

"Not a bit Lanslo. That's what Christmas is all about, sharing with those who are without."

"Got'a counter ya' on that Rev. That ain't the purpose a' Christmas, that's the purpose a' Christianity. 'Sides, wouldn'ta mattered if ya' ob-jected to the folks comin' or no. They's on their way nohow."

"I see Mrs Beadle studying us from her window across the way. I suspect she's shooting daggers at us with her eyes."

"What's that Honeysuckle? You say sister Beadle is...."

"Yep, you is the first pastor what has the gut fortitude ta' speak y'r mind and not cater to the Beadle woman's commandments. She don't take too kindly to y'r visitin' us poor folk. She's used ta' havin' the pastor under her thumb, if you know what I'm sayin'"

"Yes, so I've seen. Well, she'll just have to get used to it. My boss is the Lord and not her. I have to do as I am told by the true commander, not what someone who thinks they're the commander tells me to do."

"I foller ya' Rev. But bear in mind she's a powerful influential in this here town. She'll be trouble f'r ya'"

"No doubt. I see you have some projects going here. What is that you're working on Honeysuckle? It looks like you're knitting a blanket of some sort."

"You're eyes aren't failing you Pastor Leo. That's what it is all right. I'm making this for one of the women coming to eat with us today. Living outside in the winter is no joyful experience. I have two more finished for the other ladies. Lanslo has been busy as well...."

"Yup. One a the fellers has got a hitch in his hip. Cane don't help him none. Made this here special crutch f'r him. Oughta' help some. Hope so leastwise."

"Show them the porch you made Lanslo."

"Oh yeah. 'Tain't really no porch. Not a tent neither. They's got a tent they lives in, but no where's the three youngen's c'n play when it's rainin', if ya' knows what I mean. Not much but a tarp on some sticks ta' make like a cover f'r them. Might help a bit. Hope so."

"And the toys Lanslo."

"Oh yeah. The kids you know. No Christmas f'r them. Made a train an' some cars an' stuff outa' scrap lumber. Nothin' much, but something nohow."

"I find this interesting. Very interesting."

"What is it you find interesting Mrs Bach? You mean Lanslo's porch?"

"It's not anything in particular I'm thinking of Honeysuckle. I find it interesting that the two of you, living just above being on the streets yourself, are making such an effort to help those who have even less than yourself. Meanwhile, those who are living in luxury, spend their money and their time adding to their own pleasure and the comfort of those who are already living in luxury. It would seem as if it would be the other way around, don't you think so?"

"Not really Mrs Bach. You see, those of us without can appreciate the circumstances of others without and we will do what we can to help them. Those with, desire more, so they do for those who can do for them in return. It's a matter of association. We associate with those who we most resemble, and despise those we are the most different from. Jesus was one of the poor. He was an outcast. Therefore He could relate to the outcasts and the poor. This is something those of affluence and ostentation can not understand. And we try to destroy that which we don't understand."

19We love him, because he first loved us. 20If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. (1John 4:)

12Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. 13But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: 14And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. (Luke 14:)




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