Lectionary resources for worship, faith formation, and service
There’s a bad joke that’s nonetheless worth repeating: how many church members does it take to change a lightbulb? A half dozen – only they don’t change the bulb, they just sit and reminisce about how good the old one was.
Many years ago I was working at a church supper. It was in upstate New York, and we were making chicken pie. The key to making it in that neck of the woods is the biscuits. They have to be just right. And it turns out there was a woman in the church, Marge, who had made them for many, many years.
Someone picked Marge up at her house, and brought her to the church. Everyone was standing around; we had done the other tasks, and just needed to get the biscuits on the top of the pies so they could be baked.
“Thank God you’re here,” someone said to her. “No one else can make the biscuits. I don’t know what we’ll do when you’re not able to do it any more.”
I’ll never forget her response.
“Well,” marge said, “unless you’re planning on shutting the church down and going home then I suggest you learn how to do it. It’s a sad day in hell when you need one person to keep the church going – we should all be able to step in. Now get over here and watch, so you can do them yourself next time.”
We all learned her tricks and secrets that day. And the next year, we made the biscuits. Marge was there, the next year – but she sat on a stool in the corner. Silent, but proud.
Elisha didn’t know how he could carry on when Elijah left. When people would remind him that Elijah was leaving, he didn’t want to hear about it. And I relate to that – denial can be a welcome refuge sometimes.
But if I’m really going to help make the world a better place, then I have to be prepared to step in and pick up the mantle. I have to learn to make the biscuits