Wednesday, April 20, 2011


How's that for a riveting blog title?

What do people do who live in places where dogwood trees are not blooming on Easter? Whatever date Il Papa sets for Easter, from late March to about where we are now, late April, dogwoods are always blooming here. Wouldn't seem right without them.

I showed up at my first church in mid-February, so I was the newest pastor in the community when Easter rolled around about six weeks later and was asked to preach at the community sunrise service. “Asked” is a euphemism for “ordered.” I dutifully showed up and took my place at the outdoor service with my back to a very nice pond. About six seconds into my Easter message some huge bass jumped behind me. Jesus could walk on water. I can call the fish right out of the pond.

Easter Sunday afternoons are the best nap times of the year.

Easter is not a good time to beat up the people who show up just that one Sunday. They’re already beat up. Say you’re glad they’re here. If you aren’t glad, that’s mixed up thinking. Get glad. Really.

I will not live to see an Easter any later than this year, April 24th. I’d have to make it until 2038. Probably not going to happen.

Easter egg hunts at church are great…on Saturday. I get to tell The Story to the kids. Last year a kid on the front row was transfixed. No, not by me. He had the largest, slimiest emission slowly dropping down from one nostril. Longer and longer it grew. How low can this thing go before it snaps? Why, it's a wonder of nature unfolding right before me and 75 other adults and kids. But I’m thinking, How’s this going to end? The kid was paralized, not knowing what to do except permanently cross his eyes trying to look at it. I commanded a paper towel to be brought to me, post haste. The kid fixed it. Plodder the wonder pastor. You don't learn that stuff in seminary.

Have a great Easter. He is risen indeed.


Tom Rich said...

I like the new format...looks almost like the FBC Jax Watchdog site design. I like it!

William Thornton said...

I'm dynamite with pre-made templates, Tom.

Have a nice Easter.

Easter Bunny said...

A popular Southern Baptist minister told me he hated Easter. He said that all the Easter Bunnies who hop in and then hop out destroyed HIS church and its Spirit that was within his church.

So I hopped out, I left and NEVER returned.

William Thornton said...

I never quite understood the concept of condemning the people who choose to attend church on Easter.

Stephen Fox said...

Dr. Thornton:

Had a good chat couple days ago with a young woman not far away who has a picture of her grandfather with Billy Sunday Birt.
Thanks for the note about 2038. Passed it along to my 12 year old nephew. He thinks I'm smart. Will give you proper attribution in Time.

Religion Dispatches recently had an interesting reference to Jonathan Edwards. Hope you will look for it.
You and a Liberal Baptists are two of the folks who have wished me Easter Grace this week. Thanks to both of you and to you as well.

I do hope you will get your hands on Joe Crespino's In Search of Another Country soon

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that some can take a great post like this and turn it into a way to condemn preachers. Guess that's a sign of the times.

William Thornton said...

Anon, if you are referring to the 'hop out' commenter above, look at it the way a pastor (me) does.

I have a standing policy that makes me listen to anyone who leaves my church for any reason. I'd like to know why. I may be happy, sad, or indifferent about it, but I'd like to know why. I may agree or disagree with the reasons given, but I'd like to know.

In the 'hoppers' case, I find it hard to argue with the action or the reason given for it.

Have a nice Easter.