The Apple Picker

Lutherans aren’t known for being demonstrative. We don’t sway. We don’t clap. And we certainly don’t emote. Not as a rule.

And then the Apple Picker was hired as our music leader. Oy vey!

Picture a modern-day Fred Flintstone gyrating across the altar as he leads the band with 469c22eca70ba673eb9c764443d1a345-church-memes-church-humorhis singing.

He gesticulates wildly as if picking apples from an orchard. (Hence, the name my sons gave him.)

He swivels his hips.

He swipes at the sweat of his brow.

He grunts out commands, “Sing it now” he might be yelling…

And then grapevines left. And V-steps right.

He promenades and preens as though there is a music industry executive in the last pew looking to sign new talent.

Hey, some days, I half expect a trapeze to descend over the altar so this knucklehead can further impress us with his agility and showmanship.

Maybe it’s just me, but I try to focus on God when I worship. It’s no longer easy.

The Apple Picker makes it all about him. And like a passerby at a train wreck, this sinner can’t help but look on in horror.

And now, he’s preaching impromptu sermons before some of the songs. Sermons that are about as edifying as a wart on the sole of your foot.

I’ve even taken to shielding my eyes with the bulletin during some performances. But I can’t shield my ears.

Even worse, sometimes when a song is particularly poignant, The Performer looks up at the rafters of the sanctuary from the first note to the last.

All the while, he extends his arms up as high as he can as he duck-faces his way through the lyrics as if singing directly to the face of God.

I can’t help but think of the Biblical account of the Pharisee looking to the heavens and dramatically thanking God he is not like the scum of the earth in the back of the temple.

I mean, come on Apple Picker–when Moses encountered the burning bush on the mountain, did he strut around like a shirtless Robert Plant leading Led Zeppelin in his low-riding jeans?


Hell no. Moses took off his shoes and looked away for the light was blinding. Moses had sense.

Moses didn’t act a fool.

Here’s to less showmanship at worship and more Moses.

Thanks for reading! Rant over.


Susan J. Anderson

Foxy Writer Chick



5 thoughts on “The Apple Picker

  1. That’s despicable most people when they go up to the altar bow and genuflect and act reverent I can only imagine what that fool is doing. Fox on!🦊


  2. I had to laugh! I come from a Lutheran background and I know all too well the tense posture of the many conservatives in their pews! My father was a traditionalist. At one point (late 1960s) the church attempted a “folk” service foregoing the organ in favor of a couple guitars and some bongo drums and an electronic keyboard. I thought they were going to need to call 911 since many of the older members were on the verge of cardiac infarction! There is a time and place for energetic music but the choir director shouldn’t be the one performing!!!!


    1. Lol! So true about conservatives in the pews–I can picture that in the 60’s for sure. I enjoy the contemporary music but this guy clearly isn’t born and raised Lutheran. Our last pastor always said, “If it’s all about me, it’s not about Jesus; if it’s all about Jesus, it’s not about me.” Yeah, that’s probably a good reason choirs all wear the same color robes. No one stands out.


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