Serving as a minister in a small Maine town was very satisfying and rewarding. During that time I was more than the spiritual advisor to this wonderful congregation, I was also a good friend to many decent people.
This was what made the position of pastor so very special. But I will admit, occasionally there was something that I call a once-in-a-lifetime event that must be shared. This type of event reinforced what I have said for many years; God does have a sense of humor.
Morgan was your typical four-year-old little girl. She was the second child of a very loving family that I had known and respected for several years. Her parents were both educated and loved both their children very much.
At the tender age of four Morgan developed a "minor situation" that perplexed both her mommy and daddy. You see, Morgan had a problem with her language.
She was very articulate with the words she spoke, but it was the choice of words that perplexed everyone. Although nobody was quite sure where she had picked up her new found habit, our cherub-faced angel had acquired a vocabulary that might make a drunken sailor blush.
Morgan's parents spent a great deal of time explaining the difference between good words that she should use and bad words that she must never use. In time, the speech lessons began to pay off. Morgan's vocabulary was once again fitting for a young four-year-old Christian child.
One Sunday morning I was delivering my sermon to the congregation. Everything was going very well and I could tell by the eye contact and body language of the congregation that my message was being well received.
Just when I thought I was bringing my sermon to a suitable conclusion a small voice came out of the church saying, "Mama, Pastor Ray just swore in Church....he said, 'Jesus Christ.'"
And with that, the entire congregation exploded into laughter. All I was able to do was shake my head and join in the laughter. Out of the mouths of babes comes truth.
In time Morgan did learn that Jesus Christ was more than a swear word. In fact, as Morgan grew older, Jesus would become an important part of her life. However, on that one Sunday morning during my sermon, I'm sure that even Jesus had a good laugh.
Copyright © 2009 Raymond C. Nolan
Rev. Raymond C. Nolan has served as a minister for over 30 years and is presently the Assistant Pastor at Daybreak United Methodist Church in Miflin, Alabama. His positive outlook on life serves as an inspiration to all who know him.
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Read some of Ray's other writings too:
Becoming Too Available
Bernie and Me
The Birthday Cake Rematch
Rank Does Have Its Privileges
Blessings In Disguise
Does God Have A Sense Of Humor?
Missing The Obvious
We're Never Too Old To Teach