On the Monday following Easter weekend, and upon Karl’s insistence, Ted went out for coffee and a talk. The old German parishioner had sensed that Ted was tired and a little discouraged. Perhaps a lot discouraged.

“Zo da message yestaday had been goot, ant hit all da main points. But vat’s up Ted? You sheem down.”

Ted really trusted this old fellow. There had been prayer vigils and many house visitations together. He was tired. He felt that so often the people of the church just needed to be weaned off his supply. Did they spend their own time and quiet moments in the means of Grace? Prayer. Scripture. Heartfelt discussion. And don’t forget simply waiting upon God for His input.

He felt that he would burst if he had to attend one more fellowship meal or social night.

Sometimes he would breeze by a broadcast of one of the American mega-churches on television. They had the numbers, the happy faces, the publishing and recording branches. But you know it was largely ear-tickling and he knew it.

Forget the infatuation with the do’s and dont’s of Christian Living. Let’s just draw closer to Jesus and His Gospels, and receive as if by absorption, His life, love and sense of mission to lost, hurting ones. When might the River flow with Ted’s bunch? And where were the youth? And where were the anxious new faces on any Sunday morning? And where the brokenness in the flock?

Ted really didn’t know where to begin, but he took a stab at it.

…Forty-five minutes later Karl put his withered old carpenter’s hand on the Pastor’s on the coffee table.

“Zo, mein friend. Rezolve dat it ishn’t up to you. No, you are not anybotty’s canal horse here. Ztay close to da Mashta. Shine. In da goot report tank God. In da bat report pray to God. Use da name ov Jesus mit joy and fear, often use it. Ant da people vill draw closer. Ant da people vill pick up da reins. Amen.”


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