Stained Glass and Gift Cards

Last month I preached a sermon on the “full armor of God” in Ephesians 6:10-18. Paul challenges Christians to take up the “sword of the spirit.” A stained-glass window in the Northside sanctuary depicts the apostle’s conversion. A panel portrays a sword with the caption “Spiritus Gladius,” or “Sword of the Spirit.”

I challenged the students in the worship service to locate the stained-glass. I promised a $10 Chick-Fil-A gift card to the first person to find the window. It seemed like a great idea . . . until fifteen children arrived at the same time to claim the prize!

Solomon threatened to cut a baby in half as a legal solution, but I suspected the restaurant might reject fifteen pieces of plastic. A few children offered to forego the prize. The rest divided into two groups of boys and girls who were willing to share the card. Thankfully, I had a reserve tucked in my pocket for a later service. Mischief managed, and crisis averted.

Lessons learned:

  • Children listen during worship
  • Never underestimate the power of a Chick-Fil-A gift card
  • Always remember the law of unintended consequences
  • Boys and girls are born with a sense of equity and fairness
  • Some in every group will sacrifice for the greater good
  • Adults are grown children with a surface veneer of maturity
  • The children will never forget the location of the stained-glass window

For some reason, I’m feeling the urge to get a chicken sandwich, waffle fries, and a chocolate shake!

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