A More Exceeding Weight

A survey indicates that 14,000 clergymen are overweight (these are round figures, of course). Besides being a bad example to a hungry world, these preachers are endangering their health and, what is even worse, shortening the lifespan of the pulpit furniture. The trustees are concerned.

To encourage ministers not to die of avoirdupoison, we are instituting “The Eutychus X Sermon Contest on Weight in the Bible.” Any overweight minister may submit a sermon manuscript, provided he agrees to accept the prize: a year’s free membership in our new Christian weight-watching program, ELI. (ELI stands for “Evangelicals, lose it!” Our biblical basis is, of course, 1 Samuel 4:18.)

However, there are some stipulations. You must send with your sermon manuscript a letter from your doctor stating that you are indeed overweight. Please do not send photographs! We have a very small office.

Also, there are certain homiletical requirements. Your sermon must be based on solid exegesis. We absolutely will not accept any sermons on such texts as “All the fat is the Lord’s” (Lev. 3:16), or “Why this waste?” (Matt. 26:8, NIV). We have in our files nearly one hundred sermons on Daniel 5:27—“TEKEL: Thou art weighed in the balances and found wanting.” Talk about poor exegesis! Also, please do not use “Jacob shall be made thin” (Isa. 17:4). Again, poor exegesis.

Of course, there are always the old standbys: “Let us lay aside every weight” (Heb. 12:1), and 1 Corinthians 9:24–27. But originality enters into the final choice of winners, so perhaps you had better avoid these. Anyway, you’ve probably preached on these before and they didn’t do you much good.

The decision of the judge (myself) is final. All manuscripts become the property ...

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