From The Storyteller
October 16, 2017, Cross
During my years of pastoring Methodist churches, my eyes were opened to a particular truth. The people called Methodist, who gather together on Sunday, are pretty much a typical representation of their community. Some worked with their hands, some worked with their heads, some held public office and some never voted. You would find some that were generous to a fault, and some who thought it was a fault to be generous. Introverts and extroverts, athletes and couch potatoes, they were all there.
With such a diverse population you would think that when it came to selecting a gift for the pastor, the possibilities would be endless. While gifts were really not expected for Christmas, birthdays, pastor appreciation Sunday, welcoming, or leaving - they did happen. With an occasional exception, the almost universal gift of choice by the laity was a very nice cross.
The crosses in my collection included one that had been made from a broken stain glass church window, one was hand carved from local trees, and others were purchased at very dear prices. One was a handmade ceramic piece and another came with scripture carved in it. All are special because they were all gifts of love from people we had spent years loving.
As with all life’s journeys, my time pastoring Methodist churches came to an end. In the Methodist church that is called retiring. To mark this occasion the big church, at its annual meeting, has what I tend to think of as a graduation ceremony. At that time those of us who are moving-on receive the prayers of the people, kind words from the bishop, and a small gift.
You guess it – another cross to add to the 42 I already had.
Moral – Somethings are just predictable.