1. This is an excerpt from Chapter 7 of Your God is Too Glorious: Finding God in the Most Unexpected Places by Chad Bird (1517 Publishing, 2023).
  2. For almost three years, I have produced a weekly video in the series “Reading the Gospels through Hebrew Eyes.” Here is an index of all the Gospel readings covered so far, with links to their YouTube videos.
  3. When the direction of preaching is dictated by the hashtag issues of the day, the pulpit becomes the perpetual servant of CNN and Fox News. The news and social media cycle, with its chameleonic alterations from this all-important issue (this week) to that next-all-important issue (next week), does not create a rhythmic dance for the church but a sort of frenzied whack-a-mole worship. Now smack your homiletical hand down on this…now that…now this…now that. We need something better.
  4. The Spirit did not plant preachers in the pulpit to be pontificating moralists or political hacks or spiritualizing psychologists or motivational speakers.
  5. Pastors are built from the same stuff as everyone else. That’s good, and that’s bad.
  6. The church is a home for the family of God. It’s not a mall, a café, a coffee shop, or Amazon. It’s where we usually don’t get what we want, but what we need.
  7. In an age when families are already fractured beyond comprehension, are we seriously going to separate parents from children in the one service in which God himself is present to unite us to himself and one another?
  8. The table is full-laden; feast ye all sumptuously. The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.
  9. I don’t care why you left the ministry—moral failure, congregational politics, burnout, whatever—the Christ whom you proclaimed has not left you.
  10. He has wandered away into the darkness of his doubting, got lost in his grief, confused by the pains he’s suffered. It happens. Shepherds sometimes become lost sheep as well.
  11. Brothers, the rich and diverse education you have received has more than adequately prepared you for the ministry of temptation to which you have been called.
  12. But on the mountain in Galilee, where we encounter a very different side of God, doubts overtake us. Why?

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