Tuesday, November 9, 2010

FW: Ask them what is wrong with them?

I've heard this from someone before…


Feed: Confessional Gadfly
Posted on: Sunday, November 07, 2010 6:47 AM
Author: Rev. Eric J Brown
Subject: Ask them what is wrong with them?


I am going to posit a hypothetical situation that pastors know is all too plausible. A young man walks in and says to his pastor, "I'm just not getting anything out of our service."

How do pastors respond? We often make ready our defenses - because more than not what is coming is an appeal for change, that we need this or that in the service, that my own sermons need to be more X, things like this. These defenses we all have, we can all make them.

And I don't wonder if they don't miss the target.

If someone says "I don't get anything out of the service", I don't need to defend the liturgy. It is what it is, and it is not diminished in the slightest by this person's observances. I don't need to consider and examine the worship service.

I need to find out what is wrong with the person talking to me.

Have we thought about responding to "I'm not getting anything from the service", especially from someone who should know better, with the simple question - "what then is wrong with you? If you know that this is Christ Jesus being present for you, then what has bewitched you that you could think this was 'nothing'?"

Of course, I don't think this is a new idea. Isn't this was Luther does with his 20 Christian Questions at the end of the Catechism? But what if I feel no hunger for the Sacrament - then consider who you are and what the Scriptures say of you.

Why don't you get anything out of it? Don't you know what it is? If it is what it is, what are these thoughts that you are having?

We say it, but we so often forget it. I have sinned against You in thought... thought, word, and deed.

Perhaps we do need to think a bit more about our thoughts being evil - and talk about this more, so people are aware of it.

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