Wherever Paul traveled, revolutions broke out. Wherever I go, they serve tea." So said an Anglican bishop lamenting his perceived lack of impact upon people.
We all know what he's saying. Particularly in the area of preaching. You spend hours in preparation: both spiritual and scholastic. You seek stories and illustrations that ooze meaning and significance. You search your own life to make sure that you are as transparent as possible. Then, when the moment arrives, you preach your heart out. Words flow, thoughts build, stories produce laughter or reflective silence, decision time comes, and you expect … Pentecost!
Moments later the people file out with opaque comments such as "Nice sermon, Pastor" or "You gave me something to think about" or "You were really 'on' today."
On the drive home, your nerves are raw. Indeed, it was a nice morning … but didn't anything happen? Like a revolution, for example? Or did we just serve our usual tea?
I've made that trip home countless times. I've entered ...1