Tuesday, March 30, 2021

That flashy preacher? Look at his knees!

There are many who labor in the vineyard of oratory; but who knows how to pray, or how to inspire others to pray? There are many who can execute and display magnificent fireworks; but who knows how to kindle a spark in the darkness of a soul?

Some of you may say, I am going too far! Of course, people still attend “services”—but what does this attendance mean to them? Outpouring of the soul? Worship? Prayer, synagogue [or church] attendance, has become a benefaction to the synagogue [or church], a service of the community rather than service of God, worship of the congregation rather than worship of God.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 101

<idle musing>
Yep. It's just as true today as it was when he wrote it in the early 1950s. We like charismatic preachers. All the better if they tickle our ears. But if a Jeremiah or Ezekiel or Elijah stands up and says something, we fire them or ostracize them. We prefer profits over prophets. We want our ears tickled. We want prophets who prophesy abundance, more bread and wine. We don't want to hear the truth. We don't want to have to change our ways.

Nothing has changed about human nature. We just have fancier ways of expressing it. We still need to be born anew by the Holy Spirit.
</idle musing>

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