Archers call it a bull's-eye. Batters know it as "the sweet spot." It's when both timing and accuracy are just right. Sermons, too, can hit that sweet spot where the right words are delivered at just the right time. Their impact is magnified because they're both true and timely. Both apt and opportune. It's bull's-eye preaching.
Since I was raised in Denver as a long-suffering Broncos fan, when I think of the right word at the right time, I immediately think of something said in the January 1987 AFC championship game. The Broncos, led by quarterback John Elway, were in Cleveland, trailing the Browns 20-13 with 5:32 left to play.
Surrounded by 80,000 screaming, bone-throwing fans in Cleveland's "Dawg Pound," the Broncos were pinned down on their own 2 yard line, 98 muddy yards away from a chance to tie the game.
They had not been able to generate much offense all day, and now, after fumbling the kickoff return, the Broncos huddled in their own endzone. Things looked grim.
Then one of the offensive ...1