Halfway through the sermon I kissed my wife on the cheek and told her I was going outside for some fresh air. Truth is I felt like a beer. I sat on the steps in the sun wondering why we stuff ourselves indoors on days like this. Then I heard the familiar clink of cold green glass. I looked up and Jesus was standing in front of me holding a couple of lagers.
Don’t ask how I knew it was Him. You’ll know too, when God Incarnate turns up with a beer. Monteiths, I noted, and he nodded. No point skipping church for Lion Ice, he said. Cheers.
We drank for a while. I asked him, shouldn’t you be in church? He said straight back, shouldn’t you? (Being Jesus , he answers every question with a question.) I shrugged. You tell me, I said. It’s your church. He didn’t respond, just looked over the bottle at me with his volcanic brown eyes. You don’t look much like any of the pictures I’ve seen, I said. He replied, I don’t think that’s ever been your problem. No, I said, I don’t suppose it has.
The sun was hot, the beer was perfect, cold and lightly perspiring on the bottle. Beautiful day, I said. Thanks, said Jesus. I laughed and took another swig. The questions I’d always wanted to ask had suddenly ducked their cowardly little heads.
I said to Jesus, You know that I don’t much believe in You any more, don’t you? He said, that may be the case, but you’re still drinking my beer.
From my book Ministry of Ideas. First published in Bravado prior to that.