Pastoral visits teach you all sorts of lessons. For example, a great grandmother whom I visited this week taught be how to “measure” your recall.
You know what it’s like. You’re looking for that word — or worse, the name of the person you’re speaking to! — and it simply escapes you.
The gracious 85-year-old whom I anointed this week suffers from this all the time. She suggested to her granddaughter, who is a neurologist, that perhaps she’s getting Alzheimer’s. Her grandaughter replied with a simple test: relax and do other things; if whatever you’re trying to remember doesn’t occur to you by 10am the following day, then you’ve got a problem.
I’ve since applied this test myself. It works! To that end, there was an article somewhere on the Internet which I wanted to engage in my earlier post on preaching. I couldn’t remember it then, but I remember it now.
A sermon is not entertainment, nor a dump of information about God, nor a theological lecture. It is an encounter with the living God, and a preacher can fulfill his vocation well only if he knows that God.
It’s worth reading all of it, and the comments too: A Man of God, by Peter J. Leithart.