Fairfield Mayor Steve Miller, a longtime Tri-County Assembly of God parishioner, approached Pastor Brad Rosenberg with a novel idea about a month ago: Swap jobs for the day.
Miller would become honorary pastor of the Fairfield-based congregation and Rosenberg would be named mayor for the day.
It’s an idea that Rosenberg said he loved and one that became a reality last week when the two men proclaimed each other in the role they typically carry out.
“Steve’s mother Darlene always dreamed that someday Steve would be a pastor,” Rosenberg said May 13, reading from a proclamation presented to Miller. “Although being elected in the city of Fairfield is not a shabby position, we would love to grant Darlene her wish on this Mother’s Day to make Steve the honorary pastor for the day at Tri-County Assembly.”
Although his mother and grandmother had “high plans” for him and would loved to have seen him become a minister someday, Miller said God did not call him for the ministry.
“And I would have known because I have Caller ID,” he said, eliciting laughter from a crowd of hundreds. “I did not get that call. Mine was more public service (in nature).”
Miller delivered a 14-minute devotional about Mother’s Day, paying tribute first to his own mother.
“If you know my mom, you know she’s a good person,” Miller said. “She’s a good person to the core. She is kind, compassionate, loving. Everything you could ever want in a mom, I’ve had that my whole life and I’m incredibly blessed.”
He said his mother required church attendance each Sunday, with only a fever or throwing up allowing a child to stay home.
“Anything short of that: ‘Get in the car. We’re going to church,’” he said.
Miller said although he strayed from perfect church attendance as he got older, his future wife changed that. While they were dating before getting married 17 years ago, she made it “crystal clear” that to be in a relationship with her, he would be going to church with her each weekend.
He then shifted gears, citing the fifth of the 10 Commandments: Honor Your Father and Your Mother.
“You have to ask, why was this in the Top 10?” Miller said. “This must have been so important to God, that in the first 10 commandments he had ‘Honor Thy Mother and Thy Father’ and I think, partly because of that, we honor our parents.”
Miller cited a New Testament story where Jesus turns water into wine at a wedding following his mother’s request to do so when the wine ran out.
“I really believe … that at this time, God used Mary as a catalyst to begin the ministry, the reason Jesus was sent to Earth,” Miller said. “I think at this point in time, God smiled … and said ‘Hey, this is the plan now. Do what your mother says, begin your mission, your journey. Fulfill your destiny.
“Obviously, with God’s blessing, Jesus’ mother played an important role in his life, just like our mothers have done in ours.”