It was a few years ago I came to notice this festive day that some claimed that ‘faithful Catholics all over the world take their priests out for a beer and get to know them better’.
A bit of internet search suggests that this goes back to ‘St. Hopswald of Aleyard, the first man to take his priest out for a beer.’
I love the fun around this festive day that seems not a real holiday. Some relatives that are faithful catholic have rightly challenged me that this joyous day and the St. Hopswald of Aleyard is not known. My response was, with a smile to let them that they should not spoil my fun. After all, anyone in Christ is a saint. The truth is a little investigating further; it sounds that St. Hopswald is wholly made up. Could it be an attempt by brewing industry to sell more beer or an effort to show that members of the clergy are real people also in need of socialising even over with good food and drink? I feel like going for the later possible attempt.
Last year, I received a severe challenge and name-calling from a Nigerian based Pentecostal Bishop for posting this in a social media. He used the opportunity to reveal how he felt about my Christian faith and ministry. His issue was doctrinally ruled not to of drink alcohol. This issue of doctrine was a severe diversion from my intention to have fun with the post. I believe that his interpretation of Gal 5:21 and Eph. 5:18 is complete abstinence of alcohol, which is some cases necessary but a wrong understanding. I would only say, buy non-alcoholic for tee-total church leaders like myself and those who doctrinally insists on that.
This year 2020, I feel that priests, church ministers, pastors and all church leaders need particular ‘take out for beer’. This year presented to us all a more significant challenge, such as the three discussed here:
- Teaching challenge: Teaching God’s word in such a way that makes sense in this COVID -19 era, reminding people of God’s promises even in this time of uncertainty. Those Church leaders who could not say with humility – ‘I do not know’ went a bit far, in my view, in a wrong direction teaching God’s word in a way that produces fear, hatred and anxiety rather than informing and equipping members with biblical knowledge without the influence of conspiracy theories. We need to be ‘taken out for beer of encouragement’. I will suggest ways to do so at the end.
- Peaching Challenge: A challenge to inspire and motivate members for a positive life change in this COVID-19 era. Preaching that engage with the time we are living, that acknowledges the difficult time we are and inspires people to do good work and, in their being, trusting God who is bigger than COVID -19.
- Pastoral Challenge: A lot has happened and still happening. Many people have died because of coronavirus. Many jobs and businesses have suffered, and there are uncertainties in the air. Pastors carry this burden with members. Let us remember that pastors, priest, ministers are also a human being with their own needs.
A better alternative to buying a beer:
With the current rules of social distance, spending time to pray for your pastor, minister, the priest will be an excellent investment. Calling them to ask them what you could pray for them will be a fantastic idea.
Plan to join God in what He is doing in your community through your church ministry will help immensely. Investigate the area you are gifted or has the potential to develop will bring joy.
This two alternatives and other things might well be a better way to ‘buy your priest’ a beer this year.
As a pastor myself, I prefer this alternative for this year 2020.For all my pastors, I would spend time today to pray for you.
 International Buy a Priest a Beer Day! | The Catholic …. https://catholicgentleman.net/2013/09/international-buy-a-priest-a-beer-day/