File Under: “Could, But Shouldn’t”

Photo by Yassine Khalfalli on Unsplash

In 2011, the last time inflation was on the rise, the then-president of the New York Federal Reserve, William Dudley, ventured into a working-class neighborhood in Queens, New York, to give a speech explaining why inflation wasn’t a big deal. Finding that he wasn’t making an impact, Dudley famously picked up an iPad 2 and told his audience, “Today you can buy an iPad 2 that costs the same as an iPad 1 that is twice as powerful.”

“I can’t eat an iPad!” someone in the audience shouted back.

Samuel Gregg, “That Doesn’t Feel Like $150 Worth of Groceries,” via the Common Sense Substack Newsletter

Filling the Pulpit

Photo by Mitchell Leach on Unsplash

When someone steps in on a Sunday to preach a sermon, this is described as “filling the pulpit.”

It has also been observed that a high percentage of ministers are overweight.

Feel free to look up the studies.

Considering some are more literal in their mode of interpretation than others, this may be an instance of a metaphor being missed. In their effort to match their frame to the sizableness of their pulpit, the minister may become prone to excess at the congregational potluck, not because they wish to be a glutton, but rather a grand pulpiteer.

With regard to preaching, pastors want to rise to the occasion. If filling a pulpit, these pastors expand for the exhortation. People pleasers that they are, if they need to fill their bellies to more fully fill a pulpit, whether they eat or drink or whatever they do, they’ll do so to the glory of God.

Instead of inviting someone to fill the pulpit, perhaps we should be more direct, ask our preacher to “preach the Word,” in season or out of season, in whatever shape, and at whatever size, they may so be.

Message in a Bottle

Image by Antonios Ntoumas from Pixabay

One evening many years ago, a retreat guest who was staying in Black Bluff (that 7 room-building that hangs over the Frio River) wanted to chill a bottle of wine. He secured the bottle to the end of a string and carefully lowered it down the side of the building into the water below. Pleased with himself, he made his way to the Great Hall for the evening session.

The session came and went. Our guest, with a spring in his step, returned to his room and quietly hoisted the bottle up from the dark water. To his bewilderment, the bottle was empty, except for a handwritten note that read:

The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.

From a Laity Lodge newsletter, “Lighten Up