From The Pastor
By Pastor Larry Richardson
As I sit writing this column, it’s 46 degrees and sunny outside. Tomorrow we are due for 17 degrees and 2.5 inches of snow. Of course, that may not happen, but I have grown more confident in weather forecasts in the past few years. Radar and constant ground station information has made forecasting future weather events much more precise.
It brings to mind a famous story about a Minnesota snow storm that happened to occur on a Sunday morning. The snow was deep, the winds were high, and the snowplows were nowhere to be seen. Nevertheless, the pastor of one rural Lutheran Church, whose parsonage was only a few yards from the back door of the church building, dutifully trudged through the snow drifts and prepared for worship as usual. He was quite surprised when, at the appointed time, Sven, the neighboring farmer, showed up for the service.
Pleased to have at least one in the assembly, the pastor proceeded to go through the entire service, including a 25-minute sermon. At the door, as he shook hands with his lone parishioner, he smiled and asked, “How was the service then?” To which Sven replied, “I didn’t really care for it; it was too long for the attendance.”
“But Sven,” the pastor joked, “when you bring a wagon load of hay out and there’s only one cow, you still feed her, don’t you?” “Ya,” Sven replied, “but I don’t give her the whole load.”
Many of Jesus’ most significant proclamations were no more than one sentence long. “Follow me and I will make you fishers of people.” “Go, your faith has healed you.” “So then, give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God, what is God’s.” And, of course, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Profound thoughts rarely need to be lengthy. Lincoln’s address at the Gettysburg battle field was brief and powerful and so were the words of Colonel Charles E. Stanton at the tomb of the Marquis de Lafayette on July 4, 1917, honoring him for his service to the United States during the Revolutionary War. Spoken as the first American troops were arriving to fight with France in World War I, the Colonel simply said: “Lafayette, we are here.”
So here’s to brevity, the soul of wit and the strength of Gospel Proclamation!
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