Soli Deo Gloria
This morning, I preached a very unusual sermon. Took as my text Paul's advice to Timothy about the requirements for bishops (1 Timothy 3:1-7). What with all the interest in the papal election, everybody's been humming with questions they can't seem to get answers to.
So my sermon was really more history lesson than anything else -- a review of the development of the episcopacy from Paul to Ignatius of Antioch to the Peace of the Church, the establishment of the Patriarchates, schisms and whatnot, with special reference to our own denomination's establishment.
I tried very hard to be fair, not polemical. To say what, exactly, our Catholic friends believed, where the Orthodox and the Anglicans were coming from, where the Protestants and where that oddest of all groups, the Methodists, came out. I ended with an exhortation to pray for and support their clergy, and to enable people to listen for the call to full-time Christian service.
I thought this would be the biggest bore in the world, though I also thought I really needed to seize the teachable moment. But they absolutely ate it up.
Who'd'a thought it? Well, yay for me, I guess; but while I know I'm good at history and all, this has got to be God at work.