Wednesday, January 25, 2012

“A city lady . . . a living God”

Notes for a Sermon | Reverend Jesse Halsey | c1932
A city lady came to live with her country cousin who lived next door to us. This was in the days of my youth. In the spring, the ex-city dweller planted some beans in the garden. The weather turned warm after a rain, the bean sprouts promptly sprouted and came up, but to this novice of a gardener they did not behave properly. She uprooted them, turned them over because the beans, she thought, should have stayed under ground instead of attaching themselves to the first two leaves. One day my father saw her predicament and advised her to let nature have its way.

This is a parable for I often observe that we preachers, following our scholarly model are very well informed about the roots. We can give the aetology of some spiritual diseases, can always tell at length about the historical background of prophesy or anything else, tracing it through Scripture back through church history into Holy Scripture, but we are, I fear, not so sure about the fruit. People are asking, “What are the temporary implications of the Gospel?” “What would a prophet say today?” [let] alone “What did he say in the seventh century B.C.?” Never in modern times was there such an upheaval of currently accepted notions, thought, and principles, and most of us do our delving with the root system which we should have more or less completed in student days or as scholarly implies, confined to our studies, but people expect and ask for a scholarship that has come to fruition, a Christian faith that is contemporary. They are asking for a message from those who believe in a living God.

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