One of the things that I like to read each month are church magazines. And I like them, not just because they tell me what’s going on in different Christian communities, but because they often contain some wonderful typos and discrepancies. And on occasions, I can laugh so much that I get parrot hiccups.…..
For example, a harmless reference to the work of God turned into “the wok of God”, (as in “stir-fry, O Lord, the hearts of your people!”)
And then, on the back page, there was a promo trying to rustle up support for “an ALPHA Curse.”
Typos are very entertaining in themselves, but there’s also the whole area of unintended double meanings. One super-efficient Vicar made the mistake of announcing the titles of his next two sermons. The Sunday morning sermon was to be: “Jesus Walks on the Water” while the evening one was “Searching for Jesus…….”
And then we have the good old Mother’s Union pages. One group announced that there would be a guest speaker at its next meeting talking about street drugs, “to be immediately followed by a bring-and-buy sale.” A little worrying, don’t you think?
We can laugh, but typos, mistakes, double-meanings, - they can all work for God’s purpose. Because they make us focus upon something that we might otherwise have skimmed over. And it can be like that in life too. Because quite often, it’s not when we get things right that we learn. No, it’s when we get things wrong. Hence the old saying that “we learn from our mistakes.”
Some of the most profound moments in the Gospels occur when Jesus tells the religious leaders and others that they are mistaken in their beliefs and practices.
“Jesus replied, ‘You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in Heaven.’” (Matthew 22:29-30).
All of us will make mistakes in our lives. We can misinterpret, misunderstand, behave irrationally, or make amusing typos in a church magazine. And hopefully, we will learn from these mistakes and better ourselves with humble hearts. And then God can use us.
Oh dear, my hiccups have started all over again………