What we do and how we do it determines our success or failure as ministers. We may be slow to sense it, but things have a strange way of rebounding upon us. Thackeray stated it well when he said, "The world is a looking glass, and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face." If that be true inordinary life, it is doubly true in a minister's life.
The music used for wedding services in our
churches reveals wide differences of opinion as to what is appropriate for such occasions. There seems to be little agreement on this subject. Each pastor and each congregation is free to govern its own practice as to the conduct of weddings in the local church.
All things earthly speak of decay and dissolution. Ever since the heavyhearted sorrow of God made the awful pronouncement upon Adam and Eve on the occasion of their banishment from the sweet waters of
Eden: "Dying thou shall die" (margin), this sin-cursed abode of man has been a house of mourning, a place of tears, a blighted garden of grief and fading dreams.
Do you have a clear mental picture of the
setting of the first celebration of the ordinance of humility as it is given in
John 13? Some seem to imagine it something
Jesus and His disciples, with dusty feet, arrived in the evening at the upper chamber
where they were to eat the Passover supper.
For the last six years I have been seriously pondering the questions: Do visual aids belong or do they not? Are they in or out? Are they cumbersome to the evangelist or are they effective? Do visual aids weaken the impact of this message or do they strengthen it? Is there a danger that they might put the evangelist in slavery to the visual aids, or does their use still leave him their master? And further, are some visual aids taboo and others a fetish?
Living as we are six thousand years removed from the Garden of Eden with its bountiful variety of nuts, grains, and fruits, it is somewhat difficult for us to appreciate God's original plan of diet for the human family.