This is from Andrew Purves’ Crucifixion of Ministry…
To ministers, let me say this as strongly as I can: preach Christ, preach Christ, preach Christ. Get out of your offices and get into your studies. Quit playing office manager and program director, quit staffing committee’s, and even right now recommit yourselves to what you were ordained to do, namely the ministry of Word and sacraments. Pick up good theology books again: hard books, classical texts, great theologians. Claim the energy and time to study for days and days at a time. Disappear for long hours because you are reading Athanasius on the person of Jesus Christ or Wesley on sanctification or Augustine on the Trinity or Calvin on the Christian life or Andrew Murray on the priesthood of Christ. Then you will have something to say that’s worth hearing.
Congratulations to the entitled, for they grab what they want.
Congratulations to the carefree, for they shall be comfortable.
Congratulations to the pushy, for they shall win.
Congratulations to the greedy, for they shall climb the food chain.
Congratulations to the vengeful, for they shall be feared.
Congratulations to those who don’t get caught, for they shall look good.
Congratulations to the argumentative, for they shall get in the last word.
Congratulations to the popular, for this world lies at their feet.
The gospel of Jesus is more than a few handy tips for improving our lives this week. It is a new outlook on everything, with a glorious future renewing the creation through his death and resurrection. But he is not the only one making us promises. The world has its own version of events, its own eschatology, its own promises of reward. We must choose. And either way, we will be living by faith.
But have you ever met one person who believed this world’s unBeatitudes and came to the end a satisfied, radiant, wise person? Even one?