Church Candy

Black and White

A cavalcade of minivans ascends at ceremonial pace,

with tribes of children clutching Bibles and their Books of Praise.

They enter church, their reverential attitudes athirst

for what is yet to be revealed from mother’s Sunday purse.

For dainty, sticky morsels of the sweetest composition,

for licorice and peppermint of every description.

Black and White

They settle in their pews in pensive, pent-up expectation

that just before the preacher starts his solemn exhortation,

mother will distribute in maternal, boundless measure

the sabbath sedatives that all Reformed kids treasure.

Gummies, mints and ‘zoute drop’ are offered all around,

scraps of wrapper and tin foil soon trickle to the ground.

Black and White

Often an elusive candy clatters loudly to the floor,

which kids some seven pews away then end up scrambling for.

It’s not surprising that these youngsters who, in growing up,

had every sermon seasoned with Mom’s mints and zoute drop,

on reaching their maturity see everything in black and white,

shrink from ecclesial unity by claiming only they are right.

Black and White

Are their churches torn asunder by confessional heresy,

or is it that they are obsessed with white and black confectionery?

Yet there is hope and promise when, on Saturday afternoon,

these mothers on their pilgrimage uncritically commune

with others from the F. R. C., the U. R. C. and Can. R. C.,

and every other "C." that be: United, Liberated, Free,

to gather in devotion at a non-denominational door,

undivided in their worship at the local candy store.

J.J. Kuntz
QuillWork Quilt


First published in "CHRISTIAN RENEWAL"

A Magazine of Reformed Faith and Vision

May 10, 1999