Good morning, y’all. Well, the wind has died down and the temperature is back up a bit, so, I can’t complain. I took the break in miserable weather to go over to the Walmart to checkout their landscape offerings. I’m always amazed at how growers can get things to maturity and move them alive to areas where the items haven’t even sprouted yet. I know how the process works, I’ve even dabbled with greenhouses a bit myself. I’m just in awe at how the process provides the selection of flowering plants at the Walmart. Here we are in the North Georgia mountains, experiencing near freezing weather, and the lilies are blooming like the end of Spring at the Walmart. Amazing, almost miraculous.
Speaking of miraculous, I need to conclude my narrative of the dueling preachers. After attending services at the “Little Church In The Valley”, I returned back to TackyToo to continue my religious obligations. I headed back to the Rec room to watch the DVRed telecast from The Full Gospel Original Church of God. While I want to maintain my support of the Right Reverend Dale E. Bread, I also don’t want to be left out of the goings on at the Crystal Palace. The Right Reverend Dale E. Bread is like the old comfortable pair of slippers you put on at the end of the day. The Reverend Helen Handbasket is like your “high heeled sneakers”. What she brings to the show is formidable. It’s like a Las Vegas magic show, with a choir and snakes. It’s certainly the best show in this neck of the woods.
Well, I made myself a three meat sandwich with all of the fixings and settled into my easy chair in the office of the Rec room. Sandwich balanced on the left arm of the chair, and Diet Dr. Pepper balanced on the right, I was ready to get filled with the spirit. The big screen popped to life, and there we were, looking down on the Reverend Helen Handbasket. I had hoped for a televised shot of her entrance, I’m still not sure how she just “appears” on the stage. I may have to join the choir to get close enough to solve the mystery of her sudden appearance before the congregation. I hate not knowing how things work.
Well, the Reverend Helen Handbasket was dressed in a yellow robe with her customary white sash trimmed in gold. I am no fashion pate, but the yellow robe and the Reverend’s fiery red hair do not mix. When we were given the shot from the floor cameras, the Reverend looked like a yellow tulip with red stamens and pistils. A good look for a tulip, but not for an Evangelical preacher. I could almost draw a comparison to Ronald McDonald, but the Reverend’s makeup was much better. I know I’m being tacky in judging by appearance. I just think for propriety’s sake, the Reverend needs to dial it down a bit. Not Mother Superior, mind you, but not Ringling Brothers either.
While the Reverend’s appearance disappointed, her performance did not. The message was on “rendering unto Caesar”. The specific passage is Matthew 22:20-22, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” I don’t know if it was in anticipation of tax time, or if the Reverend was feeling the moral imperative to say something about all of these new “religious freedom” laws being enacted. Maybe it was a mash up. Folks in these parts are not known for being in support of government intervention and that goes one hundred fold when it comes to paying taxes.
About the only time folks around here feel the need for a strong government is when the government is being used to persecute folks. You know, like immigration reform, refusing service to gay people, and blowing up other countries. I think the Reverend was trying to steer the congregation down the path that separated Jesus’s teachings from constitutional amendments. In my opinion, she did a fine job of explaining how the collective that we call government is supposed to raise the standard of living for all citizens. It is the government’s job to champion for all of its citizens, just as it is the Christians imperative to love one another.
The Reverend wound it up by pointing out that when “Christians” force legislation that does not promote Jesus’s values, “they are not rendering unto God what is God’s”. I’m certain that popped open some eyes. The coup de grace was delivered when the Reverend pointed out that withholding taxes or other support of the government was not following Jesus’s teachings in Matthew 22:20-22.
The testament of faith was performed flawlessly and all of the serpents were returned to their box, no less the wear. The altar call was sparse. I’m thinking the congregation was stunned by the news that Jesus didn’t support hating, and, wanted them to pay their taxes. I won’t say they appeared to be glued to their seats, but they were certainly more interested in their own thoughts than they were in getting up and “tap dancing for Jesus”. I’m sure Mulva will get feedback from the Elders about their assessment of the service. I look forward to hearing it.