Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I Might Decide to Preach All Day

Life at Work
Lyle Lovett sings “Church,” a song about a church service during which the preacher keeps on preaching to an increasingly hungry congregation. The moral of the story is in the last verse:

And the moral of this story
Children it is plain but true
God knows if a preacher preaches long enough
Even he'll get hungry too
And he'll sing

To the Lord let praises be
It's time for dinner now let's go eat
We've got some beans and some good cornbread
Now listen to what the preacher said
He said to the Lord let praised be
It's time for dinner now let's go eat

Some preachers preach through lunch time, others preach into the nighttime. That’s what Paul did in one of the funniest stories Luke records in his Acts of the Apostles.

I say it’s a funny story. It might not be if Eutychus, the man who fell asleep and then fell to his death had stayed dead. Luke says that Paul went “on and on,” and that Eutychus fell sound asleep. It is important not to sit in a window sill during a long sermon. Interestingly, after the man fell, died, and was brought back to life, Paul ate and then talked with them some more until daybreak. Even the dead man stayed around for the additional conversation.

These people in Troas really wanted to hear a word from God through Paul. Knowing that he was about to leave, they wanted to take in all they could. When you’ve been without food, you get so hungry so that you can’t get enough when you finally get some. When you know that food is about to be scarce, you take in all you can, like a squirrel before winter.

I come across a lot of people who don’t eat what they have set in abundance before them. In the natural world, I understand that. If I go to an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant, I get full the minute I walk in the door. Just the realization that when I finish one plate, I’m no closer to being without food than I was when I started, makes my stomach shrink in a hurry. Do you suppose that the availability of the Word keeps you from being hungry for it? Could it be that since you can listen to the word on the television and radio; you can hear it Sundays and Wednesdays; and you can read it any day from any number of versions that you feel full though you are receiving limited nourishment?

Do you feel that hunger pain for a Word from God? That’s Life at Work!

1 comment:

Josh said...

It's also funny since Eutychus means "lucky."

The story sounds much funnier when you say, "Paul preached too long, and Lucky fell out the window."