Once upon a time…
A preacher greeted the congregation as they exited the sanctuary. It had been a blessing of a time, a gathering that included the faithful praying for God’s will, hearing God’s love proclaimed enthusiastically and the receiving of Holy Communion.
People smiled, hugged and even offered a holy kiss or two as the time for their gathered worship concluded.
One saint offered a blessing as he was leaving, just like most people that day. He included an additional offer. “I’ll take the heat for that,” he said to the preacher. Confused, he inquired, “Heat for what?”
“The ushers. I chose them,” apologized the saint.
The horror of what happened that day went right under the preacher’s clerical nose.
At that moment, it was too soon to judge the situation with complete accuracy. Had the ushers been chosen beforehand? Were the usual ushers unavailable? Was this a statement Sunday for the usher chooser? For whatever reason those ushers were chosen, that day they performed their role correctly, on cue. There’s no other possible explanation for the congregation’s collection to have been received in the manner it was.
People filed in line, following the hand motions and head nods of those ushers. The congregation received the body and blood of Christ.
So, what would be a saint to take heat for anything other than sharing the Gospel of Jesus?
As the saint left the line, it dawned on the unsuspecting preacher what he had missed. He met the ushers at the front of the sanctuary to present the offerings. He watched as they ushered the congregation for Communion. Actually, it wasn’t the preacher who was missing anything. It was the ushers.
For in their service that Sunday, they employed no tie, blazer or dress slacks.
And they lived happily ever after.