barberIT WAS A SMALL RURAL COMMUNITY; so small, in fact, the only church in town is a small Baptist church whose pastor must also double up as the local barber to make ends meet.

There happened to be a man in this small community who had invested wisely and was enjoying his newfound comfort. This man got out of bed one day to go through his daily routine. He looked into the mirror as he was about to shave and decided, "I make enough money now; I don't have to shave myself. I'll go down to the barber and let him shave me from now on." So he did.

He walked into the barber shop and found the preacher/barber was out calling on the shut-ins. His wife, Grace, said "I usually do the shaves anyway... sit down and I'll shave you." So he did. She shaved him and he asked, "How much do I owe you?" "$25," Grace replied. The man thought that was somewhat expensive and that he may have to get a shave every other day. Nonetheless, he paid Grace and went on his way.

The next day, he woke up and found his face to be just as smooth as the day before. No need for a shave today, he thought, well, it was a $25 shave.

The next day he awoke to find his face as smooth as a baby's bottom. Wow! He thought. That's amazing, as he normally would need to shave daily to keep his clean-shaven business look.

Day 3, he woke up and his face was still as smooth as the minute after Grace had finished. Now, somewhat perplexed, the man went down to the barber shop to ask some questions.

This particular day the pastor was in, the man asked him why his face was as smooth as it was the first day it was shaven.

The kind old preacher gently retorted, "Friend, you were shaved by Grace... and once shaved, always shaved."

Such is the theology of some Christians but the Methodist tradition is "saved moment by moment" even as Lord's Prayer teaches... "Forgive us our trespasses even as we forgive those who trespass against us." Did not Jesus say "Whenever you come together you shall pray this prayer?"

Manny Ferrer
July 2013

Lay members' page
OUMC Home Page