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A Pastor in Disguise

A few years ago at a Methodist Church in North Wales, as worshippers arrived at the church, they were distressed to see a dirty, drunk, smelly homeless man on the front steps. They didn't realize this bum was actually their pastor, Derek Rigby, who had disguised himself as a homeless man. To prepare for that morning, Derek hadn't shaved that week. He caked dirt on his hands and face and drew on tattoos. He went to a thrift shop and bought old clothes and ripped them, rubbed them in dirt and soaked them in beer. To complete his disguise he donned a scraggly wig and put on thick broken glasses and hung a half-smoked cigarette from his mouth. Then he sat on the church steps clutching a can of beer. On that morning not one of the members of his congregation spoke to him or offered to help. You can imagine their shock when it came time for the sermon and this homeless man walked on staged and took off the wig. Then he told them they were a stingy lot. He talked about how Jesus said that when we help one of the "least of these" we are helping Jesus. It was a disturbing experience.

(From a sermon by David Dykes, Has Jesus Touched Your Eyes?, 8/20/2012)

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