Not everything urgent is important. The difficulty is distinguishing between the two. In ministry, people's pressing needs seldom come before us in neat, conveniently timed packages. Instead, the minister is bombarded with legitimate requests and pleas from every side.
In this week’s Gospel, two people in great distress interrupt and rearrange Jesus’ day. Yet in Jesus we see no flash of anger over what will have to be put off for another day, no hand-wringing over best-laid plans gone astray.
There is at present a stream of good and interesting books on the Hebrew Bible’s King David, written by first-rate scholars. These books variously address historical and sociological questions concerning the rise of the monarchy in ancient Israel, but they tend to find most interesting the artistic offer of the narrative presentation.
Two Sundays ago, my congregation watched as pillars of smoke and flame spoiled the view of Pike’s Peak from our sanctuary windows. After that, our city—Colorado Springs—experienced mass evacuations that had people gathering a few possessions and heading into smoke-choked streets to hotels, shelters and other people’s homes.
In the chaotic days that followed, I sat down to prepare a sermon. I didn’t know where it would be delivered.