On a quiet Sunday night my girlfriend hinted she had something important to tell me. “I'm not sure how to tell you this,” she began.
“Tell me what?” I asked, somewhat concerned.
“I want to become a pastor,” she said.
Upon hearing the P-word, I spit as though my mouth was full of water. “You want to become a pastor?”
“I want to lead people and inspire them” she told me.
“Yea, but isn't that kind of extreme?” I asked spitting out more water.
“I want to deliver sermons, and give people advice,” she explained. “I love directing people on a path to something good. It makes me feel like a million dollars.”
“How about becoming a teacher? You would be a great teacher.The best.”
“I know but I really want to be a leader in the community. I want to give people purpose.”
“Yes, but pastors don't wear Uggs.”
Her heart is in the right place, but I would find it hard to introduce my girlfriend as “the really cute pastor.” Maybe I'm a little jealous. I know she likes Jewish guys, but I didn't think she liked Jesus that much.
“Religion isn't something I talk about with you, but it's important to me. I want you to come to church with me on Christmas Eve,” she requested.
The only time I've stepped foot in a church was to vote for Barack Obama three weeks ago. I was bored waiting in line and there was no air conditioning. That was not a favorable impression of church. The thought of celebrating Christmas in a church and not at China Palace saddens me.
“Hey, you aren't a pastor yet,” I shouted.
“Seriously, it's my favorite day of the year and I'd like you to come. You won't be the only Jewish person there. There are Rabbis that come. You can sit with them,” she laughed.
“We can talk about this at a later date” I stalled.
That later date was dinner. “I don't know if I could be with someone who wouldn't join me on my favorite day of the year,” she began to guilt trip.
I left my chair and crawled under the table to hide. I hoped taking shelter would save me from any further bombshells.
“You don't have to eat the wafer or drink the wine.”
“Good. I was planning on bringing my own anyway.” I assured her.
I could tell she was losing her patience with me. As a way of compromising I said, “I'll only come if I can dress as Santa.”
“It will be fun, trust me. You will love my pastor,” she said.
“Who is he?”
“Ed Bacon,” she told me.
His name is Bacon? You cannot get any more Gentile than Bacon. Fortunately, I love bacon. And I do love the Christmas spirit. If it means taking one for the team, even if it's another team, I might as well try out one church service. I'm sure there is a table at the church I can hide under.