Saturday, March 6, 2010
Words of Advice
Believe like a Lutheran... well that goes without comment here. You know me from these blog pages. That is the sine qua non from which all other things proceed.
Preach like a Baptist... no, this is not in conflict with believe like a Lutheran. What he was referencing was the way Lutherans can turn the most exciting thing into something as dull as a plate of lutefisk, boiled potatoes, and white bread. What he was saying was to preach with passion. Preach as one who not only believes what you are saying but believes it with all your heart and soul and mind and being (at least within the framework of our mortal frailty).
Do the liturgy like a High Anglican... again the point is to care about HOW it is done -- to be comfortable in the chancel -- as comfortable as you are in the pulpit. To be authentic in the chancel... To be concerned that things are done more than decently and in good order but well. Watching what happens in the chancels of so many Lutheran parishes is sometimes like an exercise in pain management. All it takes is practice. We can do this. What Hovda described as a "strong, loving and wise" presence and persona by the one who presides.
Run the parish like a Polish priest... no, not the dictatorial ideal but the Polish priest who knows his people so well he is instinctive about what is good for them and passionate about making sure that it is in their best interests... the priest who is with his people so that he knows them, knows their sins, knows their temptations, knows their hearts. This is not the touchy feely counselor but the all knowing Father who corrects you when you err, who goes after you when you stray, who embraces you when you weep, who speaks hope to you in your sorrow, and who stands with you in the warm embrace that extends the arms of Jesus to the folks in the pew.
All in all, not bad advice... and I listened... how well I do is for another to judge...