The Joey Chronicles – 2 John / “Loving Is Obeying”
When Pastor John was growing up he had an imaginary friend named Joey.
These are growing up stories told from Joey’s point of view!
This issue of “The Joey Chronicles” is dedicated to Clayton Harmon* who has some great ideas for Sunday mornings!
Every Saturday night Joey shined his shoes, got out his clothes for Sunday morning, and took a bath.
Every Sunday morning Joey went to Sunday School, he went to church, and then he came home for Sunday dinner. When dinner was over Joey took a nap. Well, not really. Joey lay on the bed until his Mom said he could get up. He thought this was a total waste of time but he obeyed his parents.
Every Sunday evening Joey went back to church and then went to Winchell’s donuts where he had a maple bar and a grape soda.
But in his mind, Joey went a lot of other places too. In Sunday School, he tromped through the darkest jungle when they talked about the missionaries in Africa. He was a tank commander trying to avoid bombs falling from the sky that he drew on his coloring assignments.
In the church service sometimes even the cookies and punch in the lobby couldn’t keep him awake so he was always thinking about what might help.
One day Joey’s friend Clayton* came up with a great idea. Put a trampoline in the back of the auditorium so the boys and girls could jump on it during the message when they were sleepy. Clayton’s mom even told the pastor about it and gave him a picture but somehow Joey didn’t think it would happen any time soon.
Joey had ideas of his own that kept him entertained. For example if you put a motorized sailboat in the baptistry then you could use the remote control to sail it back and forth behind the pastor during the message.
Joey even figured out a way to get the pastor all wet when he was baptizing people. He would sneak into the back room and poke tiny holes in the very top of the pastor’s big rubber waders that he wore to keep his clothes from getting wet. That way when he got down in the water those big waders would slowly fill up. Joey figured that would probably make the service much more interesting.
Joey never did these things. But he sure thought about them a lot. Which was a good thing, especially with the church bell tower idea.
It wasn’t really a bell tower, more like a record player tower. The church had a steeple and where the bells were supposed to be there were big speakers. And a wire ran down from the steeple to a little room where every Sunday the head usher would lift the needle and start the bell record that rang out all over the neighborhood.
Joey had some older friends in the high school group and sometimes they brought their favorite records to church to share with each other with groups like The Association, Buffalo Springfield and even rock and roll with Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Joey’s brain began to think. Why did the church bell tower have to always play bells? Why not put on a little Creedence Clearwater Revival music instead? THAT would get people coming to church from all over the place early Sunday morning!
Every Sunday morning Joey went to Sunday School, he went to church, and then he came home for Sunday dinner. And usually his mind went someplace else. And luckily he didn’t do half the things that his imagination came up with.
Joey wasn’t a “bad” kid as “bad” kids go – he just got bored sometimes.
But he did notice something interesting. The more he obeyed his parents the more he loved them. And the more he tried to get away with things and disobey them, the more he didn’t love them.
In 2 John verse 6 the Bible tells us, “This is love, that we walk according to His commandments.”
Jesus doesn’t mind when our minds go all over the place when we are bored, but He does mind when we disobey Him and our parents. When we do that we lose our love for Jesus and our love for our parents. It may not happen all it once, but it can sneak up on us.
“Dad and Mom, I don’t like you!”
Where does that come from? Usually from some small act of disobedience that grows and takes away our love.
And our love for Jesus and for our families is so important. It can even mean the difference between going to bed early and going to Winchells for maple bars and grape soda.