Today's Word for Pastors...

For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect--if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time. 
Mark 13:22-23

Today's Preaching Insight...

Preaching That Confronts Injustice

With God in the Crucible: Preaching Costly Discipleship is an Abingdon Press book that contains sermons by Peter Storey, former President of the Methodist Church of South Africa and Bishop of the Johannesburg/Soweto area for thirteen years. The book contains sermons preached in the midst of a society crippled by apartheid along with sermons reflect the nation's deliverance from that oppressive system. (Storey is now on the faculty of Duke Divinity School.)

One of the sermons, "When God Turns the Tide," was preached just days after the 1990 announcement of the abandonment of apartheid. Here is a powerful moment in that sermon.

"When President DeKlerk made those dramatic announcements that opened the prison gates of despair, I stood still for a long time, transfixed and emotionally overwhelmed. Then I walked to our kitchen window. From there you can see a distant hill, and on that hill there stands a church where, back in the 1950s, a young priest once ministered to the people of a vibrant black township called Sophiatown. It was there that he tried to stop the military trucks that came in the night to take the people away and the bulldozers that smashed their houses down.

"I looked out on the white suburb that rose on the ruins of Sophiatown. I remembered the final insult in the naming of that suburb, Triomf. [The Afrikaans word for "Triumph."] I remembered the little book written by that priest to expose apartheid's evil to the world, called Naught for Your Comfort.

"The priest was admonished by his bishop and sent home to England. But he took with him his book to alert the world, and he left behind a young black teenager who had been his altar boy and whom he had faithfully visited in the hospital when the boy had tuberculosis. The priest's name was Trevor Huddleston. The altar boy was Desmond Tutu. Huddleston's book may be dated now, but the altar boy is not. Huddleston's impact on South Africa through Desmond Tutu is immeasurable. There is a direct line between his witness in Sophiatown and this moment.

"There have been many, many others who have stood for the truth. They have been a minority, but together, the convictions of that minority and their commitment to obey God and stand for God's truth have made it possible for this moment of God's intervention - God's turning of the tide. Never underestimate the importance of ordinary people standing for the truth, because they also enable others to play their part." 

Today's Extra...

This Week's Book

Guide to Ministering to Alzheimer's Patients and Their Families

More and more families are dealing with the ravages produced by Alzheimer's disease. Pat Otwell, who has ministered to such families for two decades, shares her insights with fellow ministers in her book Guide to Ministering to Alzheimer's Patients and Their Families (Routledge). This book is packed with practical guidance and helpful ideas and resources.

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