Thursday, September 2, 2010
The Preacher’s Corner
The Presbyterian bees have heard most of my sermons!
We’re having work done on the church, and walking through the building with one of our members, Edie Haggard, she asked, “Do you think that our ‘bee problem’ has been solved?” I replied that I was quite sure the bees would still be there long after we are gone!
I mean no disrespect to our church officers, or to our excellent contractor, who are at work on this problem now, or who have tackled it in years past.
I am simply trying to reconcile our occasional efforts to keep the bees at bay with the staying power of these creatures whose presence in our church seems to be “yesterday, today, and forever.” In fact, I think they were put here to remind us of the staying power of our Lord.
Although they occasionally get to buzzing in the south wall, our bees are not aggressive. As far as I know they have never stung anybody, although they should be treated with a healthy respect.
I would not say that we have grown to “love” them, but I have long since accepted them as part of our parish, and if I could only get an accurate estimate of their population, I would add them to the church roll. They would represent a nice increase in our statistical report, and I would have to say that they are a good deal more consistent in their “attendance” than many of our regular members.
The bees have heard more of my sermons than all but a few of our most regular human members.
Every now and then one of the bees gets bored with our service and begins buzzing around rather conspicuously, as if to say, “I’ve had enough, let’s clear these people out!’ I am sure the bees think it is their church and wonder why once or twice a week these strange creatures called people come tromping into their territory.
It is a wonder that the bees are as nice as they are.
One of my earliest childhood memories is of the Saturday afternoon that our minister, Dr. Bolling phoned Daddy that there was an owl in our church in Cleveland, and would Daddy come and help get the creature out?
For some reason Daddy took me along, and it was so much fun to see both my father and our very dignified elderly minister standing on the pews and waving brooms at the poor owl who haplessly flew from light fixture to light fixture in that high-ceilinged room not knowing what it was supposed to do.
If the owl did not think it was funny, I certainly did, and I am sure that from the Lord’s point of view it was even more amusing. (I suppose the bird was eventually liberated from the church, although I do not remember that my father’s efforts achieved that purpose.)
Psalm 84 speaks of the Lord’s house as a place where “the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee.”
So when the bees buzz and the owl hoots, I think that they are part of the earthly congregation and doing their best to add to God’s praise. I am at peace with their presence.
As the Psalmist says, “Selah.”
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