Monday, September 20, 2010

the upside-down kingdom

In the middle of the service, Pastor Ntapo stopped in mid-speech, looked out the door, and announced that “the man of God has arrived.” I could not see the door and waited to see who would enter. I expected the headman or another very important pastor—someone important enough to pause the service for. In came a young man from the community, a mentally-challenged man who mumbles to himself throughout the service. He entered and was given a seat of honour at the front of the church.

The service was a special farewell for Erica Yoder who has been living and worshipping with us for two months. After the service we were to share cake and coke to mark the occasion. The steadfast and unshakable rule of this sort of an event is that the men are to be seated at the head table, the married women in chairs around the room, and the young women are to serve all the men and the older women, only themselves eating when everyone else has been served. But this time, Pastor Ntapo seated the young women at the head table. He then seated the young men and the married women to the side. He took no seat for himself.



As the people were being seated we sang “makube njalo"-- “let it be so.”

On earth as it is in heaven.

--anna

5 comments:

  1. Joe and Anna-I would really like to talk with you about whether or not our church could support you for our children's offering project this coming school year. If you think this would be okay, you can be in touch (the sooner the better) at mandy@belmontmc.org. Thanks so much. I also sent you a Facebook friend request in case that's a better way to be in touch. ~Mandy Yoder, Associate Pastor at Belmont Mennonite Church in Elkhart (where Jeanna is a member)

    ReplyDelete
  2. How lovely. It's so nice to hear stories about Pastor's with such commitment. Small details give them away :) Kinda reminds me of my Dad who is a pastor as well.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I totally agree that "small details give them away." There are tiny things that people do when they don't know that anyone is watching that reveal their true character. I wonder how I do by this standard--what is my true character when no one is watching?
    --anna

    ReplyDelete
  4. “the man of God has arrived.”

    Indeed!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete