Evangelio Occursus Attendnottus Morbus Sin-dromeesus
Evangelio Occursus Morbus Attendnottus Sin-dromeus is a sickness peculiar to certain church members. Better known as “Gospel Meeting Sickness Syndrome” (or “GMSS”), it prevents sufferers from attending Gospel Meetings.
Symptoms and identifying characteristics seem to be as wide as they are varied but here are some of the more commonly known to be associated with GMSS:
- The effects of Gospel Meeting Sickness Syndrome cross all age, racial, and social barriers. Old and Young; Black or White; Rich, Poor, or In-between; All are equally susceptible.
- Gospel Meeting Sickness Syndrome (GMSS) does not impact one’s ability to work, fish, play golf, watch television, attend social functions or sporting events, go to school, etc. Its effects are only felt in the hours immediately prior to the beginning of and during the time of church services.
- Weight loss will not be a symptom as this is one of the few sicknesses that never interfere with the patient’s appetite. With the noted exception of Spiritual Food, sufferers of this affliction have actually been known to eat quite well for the duration of their illness.
- Fever is also not a symptom of GMSS. Neither are chills. The temperature of most of those who are affected is best described as being “lukewarm”.
- GMSS seldom lasts more than 5 ½ days at a time. Most of those who contact GMSS will likely begin to feel “not so good” on Sunday morning, but will attend morning services. They will not feel the full brunt of this sickness until sometime that afternoon. The exactness of the sick feeling is hard to pinpoint. Fatigue is common. So is sluggishness. Sudden headache, stomach ache, or other ailment can be expected. Some sufferers might struggle to the Sunday evening service, but they should be considered the exception as most will not "feel like getting out". From Monday to Friday, temporary recovery can be expected during daytime hours, but by each evening, the sick feeling returns and one seldom leaves home. It should be noted that a few stricken with GMSS can expect to feel well enough on Wednesday evening to attend one service. School functions, ball games, and visits from out of town family may also lead one to feel well enough to “get out of the house for a while”, but not well enough to sit through an hour or so of singing, prayer, and a sermon.
- Strangely and unexplainably, no physician is ever called. (Least of all, the Great Physician.) When asked by others what the problem seems to be, it is not uncommon for the reply to be something along the lines of, “Oh, I don’t know. I just don’t feel good.” When assistance or advice is offered to help alleviate GMSS, it is usually turned down or ignored.
- Gospel Meeting Sickness Syndrome is highly contagious. It has been known to spread from husbands to wives and from wives to husbands. It easily spreads from parents to children. Children who contact GMSS from their parents have a much greater difficulty recovering. They sometimes carry it into adulthood and it’s not unusual for their own children to become ill also. GMSS can also spread among church members, occasionally resulting in steadily decreasing numbers for church services as the week of a Gospel Meeting progresses.
- Recovery generally begins around 9:00 PM on Friday night and by Saturday morning; all is well with the world once again. The fatigue and sluggishness associated with GMSS have vanished. No headache or stomach ache lingers. The feeling of “I just don’t feel good” feels gone. Seemingly the recipient of a modern medical marvel, the patient is up to doing anything he or she may want to do.
- Be aware though that GMSS can and sometimes does carry some residual symptoms that tend to manifest themselves during times of Sunday morning Bible classes. Symptoms may also reappear around the times of Sunday and/or Wednesday evening services. Relapses are not at all uncommon during these times of the week.
- Undiagnosed and untreated, GMSS may well prove fatal in the end. Be clear though that it’s not the body that’s in danger of death from this particular sickness. It’s the soul!
It should be noted that some church members seem to be immune from this all-too common malady. While they may be fighting other illnesses or battling the afflictions of growing old, they never seem to suffer this particular sickness and can be expected to be present for every service without complaint. These people are thought to be wearing the “Whole Amour of God”.
Please Note and Take Heart: There is a known and proven preventative of GMSS which doubles as a cure. It is readily available to anyone at no charge and has stood the test of time for nearly 2000 years. Prescribed universally by the Greatest Physician ever known among men, it is as follows.
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).