Today I spent some time with my friend, Dr. Don Blosser, by continuing to read his recent book, “Pastor and Professor.” The book is a series of skillfully told life stories, each followed by a sermon. A preacher’s best sermons generally come from living with awareness.
Blosser recalls the tragic events of 9/11. He was teaching an early morning class on the Hebrew prophets that ended at 8:30 a.m. He found a television just in time to see the second plane fly into the South Tower in New York City.
Along with the rest of us on that day he had moments of despair and wished he could do something to help. He was asked to speak on the next day to a community group gathered for grief, prayer, and remembrance. He knew that the overwhelming sentiment of the community called for a quick military response against those who had done this great injury to our national pride and caused such destruction and death.
Blosser had only one day to prepare his remarks. The professor who was emersed in the writings of the Hebrew prophets decided to try what he knew was almost impossible to do. He wanted to preach a sermon that was both pastoral and prophetic. He pulled together scriptures that told of times that Israel suffered and survived, and events from the life of Jesus and his counsel to love, forgive, and have hope. Blosser sensed that the majority of the audience rejected his message that day. Only a few listeners wanted to explore the matter further.
Pastors are sometimes urged to be more prophetic when they preach. Blosser said that to be both pastoral and prophetic is a tough call. I agree, noting that the prophets were stoned. But now, in these uncertain times I encourage pastors to be more prophetic. I urge them to preach salvation through living the life of Jesus and the latest science concerning global warming.
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