There was a feud between the Pastor and the Choir Director of a Baptist church. It seems the first hint of trouble came when the Pastor preached on “Dedicating Oneself to Service” and the Choir Director chose to sing: “I Shall Not Be Moved.” Trying to believe it was a coincidence, the Pastor put the incident behind him.
The next Sunday he preached on “giving”. Afterwards, the choir squirmed as the director led them in the hymn: “Jesus Paid It All.” By this time, the Pastor was losing his temper.
Sunday morning attendance swelled as the tension between the two built. A large crowd showed up the next week to hear his sermon on the “sin of gossiping.” Would you believe the Choir Director selected, “I Love to Tell the Story.” There was no turning back.
The following Sunday the Pastor told the congregation that unless something changed he was considering resignation. The entire church gasped when the Choir Director led them in: “Why Not Tonight?”
Truthfully, no one was surprised when the Pastor resigned a week later, explaining that Jesus had led him there and Jesus was leading him away. The Choir Director could not resist singing, “What A Friend We Have In Jesus.”
We need to face rejection with prophetic courage and optimism. Perhaps we have experienced the pain of rejection, betrayal, abandonment, violated trust, neglect or abuse, even from friends and family members, when we reached out to them as God’s agents of healing and saving grace.
Perhaps we ourselves are guilty of such rejection. Perhaps we, too, have been guilty of ignoring or humiliating people with our arrogance and prejudice. Let us learn to correct our mistakes and face rejection from others with courage.
Father Joseph Dovari