Then Again, I Could be Wrong

I have a running joke with a select group of friends. I will conclude a discussion with the statement, “But as I end all of my sermons: ‘Then again, I could be wrong!’”

Of course, I don’t end ALL of my sermons with this disclaimer. In fact, the opposite is true. I may be in error, but I’m never in doubt! A genius is naturally someone who agrees with my opinion. 😊

In my humbler moments, I realize that no one holds a monopoly on the truth. Good people possess differing opinions. In the best of worlds, we discuss our differences and learn from the exchange.

 However, we live in a polarized age with little middle ground. The world is divided into US and THEM. Communication has become a blunt tool used to beat others into submission.

Certainly, we should hold passionate, informed beliefs about what’s important in life. However, there’s also wisdom in the simple statement, “I could be wrong.” This creates some space in which we might learn and grow.

Mark Twain said, “The trouble with the world is not that pepole know too little; its that they know so many things that just aren’t so.”

We can be so convinced that we’re right that there’s no room to admit that we might be wrong. Therefore, the next time we disagree with others, consider the possibility that our “opponents” might have something to teach us.

Then again, I could be wrong.

Hallelujah!

During August, Northside Church’s worship series explored five words in God’s Word. We began with the term “Hallelujah, which combines two Hebrew words. “Hallel” means praise, and “jah” is an abbreviation for God’s name, “Yahweh.” The word is often translated in English as “Praise the Lord.”

hallelujahWithin the Psalter, “Hallelujah” is not only an exclamation of praise but also a command to worship. In essence, it declares, ‘HEY, YOU! PRAISE THE LORD, NOW!”

Hallelujah’s directive is a needed reminder in our faith walk. We are an absent-minded, scatterbrained people who forget to glorify God in personal devotion and corporate worship. The Holy Spirit regularly taps us on the shoulder with a reminder to glorify God.

At times, we say it with an exclamation point. Other times with a period. Sometimes with a question mark. Then there are times when we silently wait to say it all.

We sing and shout it. We sigh and pray it. We whisper and whimper it. But still we say it.

You—me—praise the Lord! In all times and all places. Now and forevermore. God’s people choose to say, “Hallelujah!”

Scat, cat!

The Grand Miss Haisley, our exuberant two-year-old granddaughter, has learned to say “Bless you” after a sneeze. Whether the sneeze originates with herself or someone else, Haisley blesses all concerned.

bless youAfter she blessed herself during a recent visit, I replied, “Scat, cat!”

Haisley looked at me askance and said, “Pops, there’s no cat here.”

(I lobbied to be called “Superman but was overruled. Yet and still, I’ve grown to love the sound of “Pops” in her lilting voice).

I tried to explain “Scat, cat” was an acceptable, Southern substitute for “Bless you.” However, she remained unconvinced.

Out of curiosity, I explored the Internet, the source of all certifiable knowledge, for the origins of the curious phrase. Several authorities confirmed that saying “Scat, cat” was a Southern thing, but none could agree on the phrase’s origin.

According to one superstitious belief, sneezing somehow makes one vulnerable to evil spirits. Therefore, a “Gesundheit” or “Bless you” serves as a preventative exorcism. Maybe “Scat, cat” serves the same function.

Regardless, I have performed many benedictions and blessings during my years as an ordained pastor. None surpasses the “Bless you” that my granddaughter casually dispenses.