The service had gone well, really well. A couple of visitors had been in the worship. Even better, a goodly number of the members were in attendance. And, as far as the parson could determine no one had fallen asleep during the sermon.
Now the parson was enjoying a meal at a local eatery before heading home. To his surprise, his best friend entered the establishment. The parson got his attention and motioned him over. After some greetings the parson was told his friend had been preaching at a church up the interstate and took a chance on catching the parson on his way home.
“I ran into one of your members at a convenience store,” said his friend. “He told me he thought you'd come here, so I took a chance.”
His friend settled himself into the booth. They caught up on families, friends, the shortcomings of bishops, who was angling to be elected to what and who was going to be going to what new appointment, all the while the parson finished his meal and his friend devoured a small tossed salad.
Meal completed, the parson and his friend headed out. The parson answered his friend's question as to how much longer he was going to serve as an active pastor. In turn, he asked his friend how things were going at his appointment.
“I thought things were going well,” said his friend.
“Oh,” the parson responded, “there's a problem?”
“It's not a problem,” said his friend. “But every once in a while something happens when you just want to scream, 'Does anybody know what this is all about?'”
“Spill it,” said the parson.
“We were meeting last Thursday about the Easter services. One of the items was the Easter Lilies. One of our more prominent members insisted that we needed to rethink our Easter Lily purchases. He suggested we could save a lot of money if we'd just purchase plastic lilies. They could be used over and over, he said.”
The parson looked directly at his friend for a moment. His lips began to curl.
“Go ahead, spit it out,” said the friend. “What smart remark are you about to make?”
“No smart remark,” said the parson. “But two things did cross my mind. The first is, he's right. They would be cheaper. The second is how wise the bishop was when he sent me here and you there.”