“Amen” is a wonderful word, but even a good word can be spoken at the wrong time.
“Amen” is a word from the Bible that you hear frequently in prayers and when people hear something that they appreciate. It is a Hebrew word that means something is true and certain. It can also be translated, “so be it.”
In some of the country churches that I attended as a young person, they had an “Amen corner.” That was an area of the church near the front, where the deacons and other church leaders sat who often said, “Amen.”
When I’m preaching, I like hearing “Amen.” It gets me fired up. However, one Sunday we had a guest in church who took saying “Amen” to a whole new level. Every sentence that I said, he answered with a loud “Amen.” It crossed the line from being helpful to being distracting. I thought about stopping my sermon and asking him, “Are you preaching this sermon or am I preaching?” but being the polite, humble person that I am, I tried to ignore him and talk faster to leave him behind. But the faster I got, the more he said, “Amen!”
Then it happened.
I was preaching about the powerful Old Testament prophet Amos, who pronounced judgment on those who were satisfied in their religion by their lives were not changed. I came to Amos 4:1, where the prophet warned the wealthy women of Bashan, an area known for its big fat cows, that they would be judged for oppressing the poor. I quoted the verse, which says, “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan on Mount Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy, and say to your husbands, ‘Bring us some drinks!’” Right at the moment that I explained the prophet was calling the women “fat cows,” our gregarious guest shouted out, “AMEN!”
You should have seen the looks this guy got from the women of our congregation. I mean, if looks could kill...
Which reminds me of another scripture: “There is a time for everything...a time to be silent and a time to speak.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7).
Copyright 2007 by Bob Rogers. Read this column each Thursday for a mix of religion and humor. You can read more “Holy Humor” on the Web page of First Baptist Church of Rincon at www.fbcrincon.com.