““None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.””
(Romans 3:10–18 ESV)
I have made my name in this world by speaking loudly and often of others mens sins.
This is the spiritual equivalent of making your name walking the high wire over Niagra after a few drinks.
Eventually, you’re going to fall.
When you fall those brothers in arms who have cheered you on will turn those arms upon you and it will be next man up for the wire.
We speak of the evil that men do while offering little insight to our own…there are few mirrors in my home.
There is none righteous…
The ones spoken of want forgiveness without repentance, we prefer judgment without grace.
No, not one…
I feel my foot slipping.
I have not told the whole story…
The board in the foyer tells us that last weeks attendance was 53 and the offering was $104.00.
This week will be about the same.
The pastor stands at the door and acknowledges his flock as they leave…if they were walking the other way it would look more like lunch time in a rest home than a church.
He preached again with passion and that passion was lost on people who gave passion up many years before.
He spoke of being a soul winner though any souls that have been won have apparently gone elsewhere for a new home.
His wife taught Sunday School as she does every week, though the only children there are her own.
Both wife and children look like they could use a break from each other.
They will not get one.
The pastor watches the last car leave the gravel driveway, locks the door, and hurries home for lunch.
He has to work the swing shift at the Wal Mart tonight.
This is how it goes week after week, year after year.
That is the life of the average American pastor.
He has no money, no retirement plan, no hope for earthly ease in this life.
His special messages are for funerals, not conferences,… and it won’t be many more funerals until the church is closed.
He chooses to stay and do the funerals anyway.
He is blamed for the sins of men he’s never met and never will.
Those guys don’t do funerals.
They don’t shop at Wal Mart.
This is the only story that will ever be written about him and I can’t remember his name.
I’ll get back on the wire when I do…