Fear Of Whales

Tales of a reluctant minister

Heaven is a big place

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My first paid ministry job was at a little Lutheran Church in California. The pastor was everything you’d expect from a little mainline church (that’s not him in the picture but it’s the same idea) He was old but not aged, always well dressed, and with a smile a mile wide. He used to teach the Catechism class for the Jr. High kids who were getting confirmed.

I’ve never forgotten him, or what he said in those classes. Much like a good Lutheran he was laser focused on salvation by grace alone, when kids would misunderstand things or get a question wrong  he loved to say “well no, but ya’know if you ever forget, you’ll still go to heaven!”

He spelled his stance out more clearly at one point, while seated on a chair that was way too small for him in his robe. “When I was young I used to think there was one way to God and it was my way, and anybody who had it different was just off, or they weren’t really a christian. The older I get the more people I allow into my understanding of heaven, heaven is a big place, and there are going to be a lot of kinds of people there, not just people like me.”He chuckled, and then continued “I still think my way is the best, but we’ll find out in heaven, right kids?”

That’s always stuck with me, and I wish I had heard it more often from christian leaders so i wanted to take this forum and pass his wisdom along. I think Pastor would like that.

Oh! and also, he would want me to mention that “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” write that down!


Written by RyanGaffney

June 23, 2011 at 5:03 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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