Some folks attend church very faithfully - twice a year - Christmas and Easter. We call them “Holiday Christians.” As a pastor, I strongly encouraged folks to show up more often than on holidays - at least once a week was encouraged, strongly encouraged. Having retired, as a pastor and in the middle of the pandemic for more than a year, I have found it difficult to practice what I used to preach. Thankfully, there are lots of virtual worship opportunities; however, that is not a great substitute for face to face fellowship.
Having said all of that, let me say that the following information does not include the whole story.
But, Sammie and I did attend church on Christmas and Easter, with the Playl Junior family, at their church in Mt. Juliet, four-and-a-half hours from where we live. That makes us sound like “Holiday Christians,” but there are several churches between us and them.
It was so good to be with them to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord. It was the first time we had been with them for anything, since Christmas, and it was just good to be with them and to get face to face updates from the boys.
From phone conversations, I knew they were playing flag football, together. Also, in this column, I had referred to Anderson and his cousin Katie Grace as being the same age. In that regard, I must now announce the following retraction: Anderson is six months older than Katie Grace. He is 8. She is only seven-and-a-half. At their age, that’s an important difference. OK, I feel better to have that off my chest.
So! We were eating dinner on Easter Saturday, at Burger Republic. Grayson was eating his weight in mac and cheese. Between bites, I engaged the 10-year-old in conversation.
“How’s flag football going?”
“Anderson and I are on the same team. I’m playing quarterback, and he’s playing running back. We’ve only had one game, and it was really good.” Grayson’s answers came like firing a machine gun.
Already having heard a partial answer from phone conversations, I interjected a quick question, “How did that first game go for you two?”
“We won! I had two pick sixes!”
“So you had two touchdowns on defense? Wow!” I was impressed.
“How did Anderson do in his first game?” I already knew that little brother had almost scored a touchdown, but in his excitement he tripped and turned a flip just short of the end zone. The lesson from that experience is: don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
Then Grayson bragged on his 8-year-old brother. “Anderson scored an extra point!”
I am so glad that our grandsons get along so well - uh, at least sometimes.
By the way, we are planning to return to Mt. Juliet for Mothers’ Day. The boys have a game that afternoon, and we look forward to worshipping at First Baptist with them that morning. What an exciting church. We haven’t considered joining that congregation, yet, but we sure like to visit on holidays.
The Psalmist said, “...how good and how pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!”
It doesn’t happen all the time, but, when it does, it is good and pleasant, whether at home or at church or on the ball field.
Steve Playl, columnist, college instructor, retired pastor, and chaplain, may be reached at email@example.com