Sunday, 7 August 2016

Heckled in church!

Yesterday was very different...I went to a church about half an hours drive away...it's one I've looked after during interregnums. They know me and had been told I couldn't get there due to a sudden bereavement.
They were very warm and welcoming when I turned up but slightly disorganised as they changed from Morning Prayer to Communion .
The worship leader had prepared a sermon so I joked with the congregation that they would have two for the price of one.
Mine was on the familiar theme...one God with many names for him..
Suddenly a man was on his feet. I had apparently said that Allah was God.
I had reeled off several names for God at one point but he was incensed.
I allowed him to make his point and then answered...
I said that Allah was the name that Muslims call God....
He repeated several times that I had called Allah God. The man now angry repeated it several times and said that he was disgusted for a woman of the cloth to describe a false God as a God.
I stayed very still...knowing by this time that he was probably irrational.
The lady church warden tried to stop him but he was intent on making the point...several times.
Eventually he marched out of the church taking two ladies with him.
At that point I sat down...my main job then was to stem the tears lying in wait for the unwary thought. We got the service back on track though not necessarily in the right order.
After the communion everyone gathered around to try to comfort me...but I got into my car exhausted...
The man was not a regular. He only dropped in occasionally. I think he had taken me to task once before but after the service not during it.
I came home confounded.
It seems such an obvious point to make...one God, many names for Him..but here, now we are surely one people , brothers and sisters in Christ.
It is our job to love one another...
This bit was very definitely missing yesterday.


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