One Spring Sunday morning clergy all over the country had a shock. Arriving at their churches for morning worship, they found a note on the door which read:
Sorry, can’t make it to the service this morning – God.
No reason was given, so the clergy started to ask around for an explanation.
Some people had heard that God had got company. Apparently St Peter was waiting at the pearly gates for a delegation from Virgin Galactic, who were seeking the franchise for jet tours to heaven. As a result, God, not knowing what time they would arrive, was unable to commit to coming to church that morning.
Others thought that it was because of the weather. In the West it was cold and wet. Apparently God was fed up with turning out in the rain. In the East the sun was shining, and people in those parts had heard that God liked a spin in his Godmobile on Sunday.
Other people were convinced that God had gone shopping. They had heard that he was so busy answering people’s prayers from Monday to Saturday that he reckoned he only had Sunday left to make his weekly visit to Tesco. Others thought that God really preferred a Car Boot sale or Sunday Market, where he could pick up harps for the heavenly choir at bargain prices.
Others thought that God was getting interested in sport. The cricket season was starting, and it was rumoured that God fancied himself as a demon bowler. Or maybe God was supporting a charity event. God is known to be a keen backer of charities, so perhaps he had decided to get himself sponsored and take part.
Some of the people questioned took a different tack. They said the reason that God had sent his apologies that morning was that he didn’t enjoy the experience. They had heard that churches were always cold, the congregations unfriendly, the music tedious, and the ministers inaudible. In fact they were amazed that God had stuck it for so long. They themselves wouldn’t be seen dead in church on Sundays. Funerals left them cold, they only went to Christenings to ‘wet the baby’s head’ afterwards, and to weddings to look at the hats.
Returning despondently to their churches, the clergy got another shock. As they approached, they heard the sound of laughter, and found another note on the door which said:
Only joking! Of course I’m coming this morning. My time with all of you each week is always the first thing in my diary. Love, God.