Rufus Burton is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Martinsburg, West Virginia.
By far the most uncomfortable pastoral work I do is with people who want help for relatives in churches that are far away. I once got a call from one such relative who had been elected secretary of a church committee and wondered how she should minute the meeting. Worse are the complaints about pastors who do things I have done. (“My brother says they don’t sing hymns everyone knows. What can we do?”)
It's an old saw: When Protestants say “the Bible” they mean the New Testament, when they say “the New Testament” they mean Paul, and when they say “Paul” they mean Romans. I was looking forward to this opportunity to write Living By the Word. Then I received the specific Sundays I was assigned, and I confess I rolled my eyes a little. I could be yet another Presbyterian to write on Romans! I went with Romans anyway.