Where’s the Bishop?
The church was packed on Sunday. It was an Episcopal church, which makes the body Episcopalians. I had no idea what that meant at that time? Episcopal is an adjective of or pertaining to bishops, or recognizing order of bishops. I never saw a bishop in our church? The building itself was beautiful! No expense was spared when building God’s house! Fine marble, tiles, fabrics, and timber were used to show how limitless the church was. It was quite a vision!
The priest was dressed in fine silk robes as he read from his Bible that had gold leaf gilding. He poured the Blood of the Lamb into a solid golden goblet, and broke unleavened bread on to a golden plate. Everyone was happy and smiling at each other. All the parishioners were dressed in their Sunday best. The ladies adorned in fine dresses, beautiful shoes, and the latest in headwear. The men would be in style with the latest from the haberdashery. Fresh haircuts and shaves, hairstyles and stockings, perfumes and colognes, all for the Lord!
The organist would play a guilty tune on the biggest, most extravagant instrument any had ever seen. The choir, cherubs all dressed in white, sounded like angels echoing throughout the cathedral. The priest would address the sinners until the large golden plates were ushered down the isles. They would quickly fill with twenties, fifties, hundreds, and checks. Then they were whisked away.
Then peace be with you, and also with you, and the parade started to exit. I was only a boy, but I was puzzled? You see outside the doors of the church were the hungry and homeless children, the addicted and hopeless, the jobless, the Godless and no one was helping them. Why was the church spending funds on expensive robes and gold leaf gilded Bibles and fine marble, when there were more important uses for the money? You see the church isn’t a building, the church is the people! God isn’t going to be impressed by fancy shoes, ties, or rugs!
1 Corinthians 13:13 –“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.”
I left that church and never looked back. I was fortunate to find another church that had things in order. This is not about the Episcopal Church, it’s about people. I had another Reverend say to me one day, “How come I never see you in my church on Sunday?” I told him that I am in the trenches every day! Trying to meet the need where ever it may be, the need doesn’t wait until Sunday! There is nothing wrong with worship in a building, but I would rather be with the people that need God most telling them about how wonderful He is! The people are the church. Where ever two or more are gathered in His name, that’s church to me! I get to have church every day of my life! --RevKev©2014