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Doctrine in dialogue format



The Parsonage


7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Prov 1:)

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 making his rounds to visit his parishioners. Listen:

"Good morning Brother and Sister Philistine. I see you're taking advantage of this beautiful day by maintaining your lawn and garden. A very good Idea that I need to follow suit with."

"Hello Reverend Leo. I don't see mowing the lawn and weeding flowers as taking advantage of a good day. It seems like more of a waste of a day if you want my honest opinion. I'd much rather be golfing if you know what I mean."

"I believe I do Brother George. If you'd like to take a short break from your labors, I have a question I'd like to ask you. It's nothing important, just a little survey I'm taking to satisfy my curiosity. Do you have a moment?"

"Sure Reverend , you can take all day with your questions as far as I care. I'm only here because the Mrs made me. How about you Martha? Are you game?"

"Sure Pastor Leo, what questions do you have for us?"

"My question has to do with service. We, I think, pretty well understand the meaning of service, but what does it mean to you to serve God? That is, what does being a servant to God mean to you?"

"Boy, you really threw a fastball that time Reverend. I hadn't really thought of it. Kind of something I take for granted, if you know what I mean. I guess if I had to put it in words I'd say it's kind of like what I'm doing here, taking care of what God gave me, like the house, the car, the little woman here, and the kids. What about you Martha? You're better at these things than I am."

"I guess I'd have to go along with George Pastor Leo. I mean, it's not like we can take God a home cooked meal or wash His dishes or anything like that. So I'd say it's taking care of the things He put us in charge of. Yes, that's what I'd say."

"Well, I thank you very much for your candid answers. And I had better be going now if I hope to make my rounds today. Good day to you, and I'll see you Sunday at church."

"Sure thing Reverend, if these blisters don't keep me in bed, if you know what I mean."

"Good morning Brother, Sister Beadle. Beautiful day isn't it? I'm glad to see you both healthy and enjoying this fine day the Lord hath made."

"Fine day for nothing Pastor Leo. I can't even sit here on my own porch without having to look at that mess down the street. Something ought to be done about those Plebes, like maybe a stick of dynamite. I really think it's your job to talk to those people and make them change their ways. That's what I think."

"My Hortense isn't feeling her own lovely self today Pastor Leo. I guess you caught us on an off day."

"Don't you go apologizing for me Beauregard Beadle. I feel fine, except for that eyesore I have to look at every day."

"Well, I'm glad the two of you are healthy anyway. I'm asking a question of all the parishioners of our church and I wonder if I might ask you that question as well. Do you have time to answer a question for me?"

"If it's not too personal a question Pastor Leo, I suppose it's all right. But make it fast. I don't like being questioned."

"I'll get to the point then Sister Hortense. My question is this, what does service to God mean to you? I'm thinking that since the both of you are long time elders with the church your answer would be especially meaningful."

"Long time elders is right Pastor Leo. A lot longer than you've been with the church. In fact my parents were founding members of that church. So you had better pay heed to what I have to say, if you know what's good for you."

"Yes Sister Hortense. Thank you for clearing up that matter. And for the question, do you have an opinion?"

"I have an opinion for everything Pastor Leo. And people had better listen when I give it. What was the question again? Something about service?"

"Yes Sister Hortense. What does service to God mean to you?"

"Service to God? You have things backwards Pastor Leo. There is no such thing as service to God. We, at least we Christians, are served by God. That's why He called us, and that's why He calls us His children. Children don't serve the parents. Parents serve the children. That's the way it's always been. I think you'd better spend more time studying your Bible instead of going around bothering folks with your useless questions. Well Beauregard? Aren't you going to say anything? Speak up man, don't just sit there like a bump on a log."

"Well I...."

"There you are Pastor. You have your answer. You may go now and take your survey. Be sure to talk to the Plebes about their junk yard while you're at it. And I hope you'll be better prepared for this Sunday's sermon that you were last's."

"Yes, well, thank you for your time, and I'll be seeing you this Sunday, God willing."

"Good morning to you Brother Lanslo, Sister Honeysuckle. I see you're enjoying the lovely day we're having. May I take a look at what you're whittling there?"

"Sure Rev. Take a gander. That's a joke son. Take a gander. Ha! It's a duck. Get it Rev? Gander? Duck?"

"So it is Brother Lanslo. And a very fine carving if I may say so, as is all the others you have here. And what do I see out front? You're doing another chain saw sculpture I believe. What is this one going to be? It looks like a person, if I'm not mistaken."

"Yep, that it is Rev. It's a statue of Jesus kneeling at the rock in prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane. Like the picture in the picture books. You seen it I'm sure."

"Lanslo does such nice work, don't you think so Pastor Leo. And he puts his heart into every piece. I do so love his talent and his work."

"He does fine work for sure Sister Honeysuckle. As do you if I may say so. You're working on a rug aren't you? That's some excellent weaving. And here you have your macrame hangings, and your knitting on your rocking chair. Very nice, very nice indeed."

"Thank you Pastor Leo. The pleasure comes from the doing of course. But it always feels good, like a bonus you might say, when your work is appreciated. Please, won't you sit down and join us? Here, take my chair. I'll get another from the house. And would you care for a nice glass of lemonade or ice tea?"

"Yes, lemonade would be nice Sister Honeysuckle. And thank you. I can't stay but a moment. I'm making the rounds and asking a question of everyone I find. Might I ask you my question as well?"

"Certainly Pastor Leo. But take a sip of this lemonade first and tell me if you need any more sugar in it. I drink it more on the bitter side myself, so I leave it a little bitter for some people's taste."

"It's fine the way it is Sister Honeysuckle, thank you."

"You said you have a question for us Rev. Fire away. I got more answers to give than Carter's got liver pills. I can answer questions what's got no questions, so I'm sure I can dredge one up for you."

"Thank you Brother Lanslo. My question is, what, in your opinion does the Bible mean when it speaks of service to God? Have you given that much thought?"

"Sure Rev. Service to God is service to each other. Like, Jesus is the Head of the body, right? Well, the Head don't need nothin' 'cause He made everything. But He done gave us the job of taking care of each other. That's our job."

"I agree with Lanslo Pastor Leo. Jesus said to keep only what we need, not what we want, and to give what extra we have to those without. I think it's Matthew 10 verse eight or there abouts where Jesus said to give your extra coat to someone who doesn't have any at all."

"Naw, that's Luke three eleven Hon. What you're thinking of is where Jesus told the disciples, He says freely we receive, so freely give. And Matthew nineteen He says to the rich man to give everything away to the poor. Meaning to me to don't hoard your stuff, but make it all equal like they done did in Acts four. Leastwise that's the way I read the Bible, and what my spirit tells me is so."

10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. (Prov 9:)




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