The Tithing Sermon
Updated: Feb 4
Once a year between the building funds sermon and the Catholic charities
sermon and the Peter's Pence sermon would come the dreaded tithing sermon. And this always consisted of a droning video sermon by the archbishop, followed by the living testimony of a married couple usually from Minnesota or someplace up in the cold North Midwest, testifying to the miracles that happened in their life after they opened their heart to the Lord and begin tithing.
These were sturdy coldweather people who inevitably looks like they had been carved out of huge blocks of unsalted butter. Anyway, there were no flat screen TVs back then, so they would wheel over from the school the largest TV they had, pop in a cassette and there before your eyes would appear the archbishop citing some obscure Bible verse or another, well really not obscure but frequently ignored, about the duty and virtue of tithing.
I say he was the archbishop because in Oklahoma the bishop of Oklahoma City is also the archbishop of an area consisting of Oklahoma City, Tulsa and some semi converted parts of Arkansas.
The pious couple - always a couple - testifying to the miraculous events in their lives once they started tithing always seemed to be converted Lutherans or maybe Presbyterians, but I think Lutherans. Anyway the husband and wife, whom you cannot imagine ever having sex and yet
they had 10 kids, would tell you something like we spoke to the Lord and we kneeled and prayed together and searched our hearts on the matter and begin tithing. And back then you had to actually write a physical check every time you tithed so it was kind of a big deal, not a bank draft setup once that executed every month and you forgot about it until you remembered that you were tithing and had a chance to cancel it.
Anyway they would tell you that they started tithing and all of a sudden their paralyzed child got up out of the wheelchair and danced, or they won the lottery, or their lost dog came home or something.
It was as predictable and boring as hell, and I don’t know if anybody fell for it, but they seemed earnest.