15 Oct The Foolishness of Preaching
Last weekend we sat through an 80 minute sermon on the state of the dead. He started preaching at 11:40. At 12:50 I leaned over to my wife and said, “He hasn’t even gotten to the resurrection yet. Let’s go.” “No,” she said, “I have to know how long he can go.” At one point he said, “This is a long subject.” A man sitting beside me said out loud, “It sure is.” He finally sat down at 1:00 without ever getting to the resurrection. I believe there is a text about the “patience of the saints.” Yes, it is Revelation 14:12. On the way out an elderly lady (someone older than me) took my hand and said, “Come back again. It isn’t always like this. He is a good young man.”
I was delighted with the “patience of the saints.” Only one family left and they had small children. Everyone else politely listened because they cared about the young man. Often times the best way we can show our love and appreciation for someone is to quietly endure their impositions and idiosyncrasies. While I did feel the need to stand up and stretch the truth is I didn’t have a very pressing schedule for the afternoon. The imposition was minor to say the least. I think it has a lot to do with what you are used to. I like 30 minute sermons. Recently someone told me if I didn’t speak for 45 minutes the saints would feel cheated. But I sat down at 25 minutes because I was finished. To have lingered would have been redundant.
The entire process is very arrogant. Why would one person think others should sit and quietly listen to him? Paul called it the “foolishness of preaching that somehow pleases God. I Corinthians 1:21.
Written by Roger Bothwell on October 15, 2011
Spring of Life Ministry, PO Box 124, St. Helena, Ca 94574