As I contemplate the church and world which God is preparing me to serve, the challenge seems often too much and I wonder if I might do better in withdrawal and study. I confess I come too slowly to my own chastisement in these moments and content myself too readily with the feeble faith they evidence. Yet it is for these weaknesses that God has given us the church, and to the church such ministers as turn us out from ourselves, whether we are there satisfied or discontented, to the better destiny God has appointed for each one of us. My grandfather is one such minister, and I had this past Sunday the blessing of hearing him preach a simple undiluted word to the mostly oblivious tenants of an Illinois nursing home; this indeed is 'folly to the Jews and a stumblingblock to Gentiles.' I can thank God that my resident cynicism was crushed for that short space beneath the foolishness of the Gospel, and I pray him constantly that it may be so every hour.
Bishop William Willimon is another such minister, whom I encountered first in his books coauthored with Stanley Hauerwas. I leave you with a recent talk of his on the theology of John Wesley. It ought to be an admonishing and inspiring voice to every Christian, and especially to those of us who are readily enticed to merely think about the faith, not live it.