Free Preaching

1 Corinthians 9:16-23

About the Reformer

During the century and a half closing with 1450, there were local groups of preachers as well as isolated pulpit orators who exercised a deep influence upon congregations. The German mystics with Eckart and John Tauler at their head preached in Strassburg, Cologne and along the Rhine. D’Ailly and Gerson stood before select audiences, and give lustre to the French pulpit. Wyclif, at Oxford, and John Huss in Bohemia, attracted great attention by their sermons and brought down upon themselves ecclesiastical condemnation. Huss was one of a number of Bohemian preachers of eminence. Wyclif sought to promote preaching by sending out a special class of men, his “pore preachers.”

—Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church

Pulling It Together

I was in the dairy aisle at the grocery and exclaimed to a gentleman reaching for a dozen eggs how cheap the eggs were. This store is so much cheaper on everything; I just can’t understand why anybody would do their shopping elsewhere. We exchanged a few pleasantries and I told him I shopped there because I cook for my Bible classes on Wednesdays. In fact, I was looking for an opening to invite him to church or even speak with him about Jesus in the dairy case. He then told me he was a Christian and we agreed to meet again one day in heaven.

One might expect pastors to do this all the time, that it is part of their jobs. Not so. Pastors are employed to care for the flock. They preach the good news for free. In fact, the entire Church ought to be a collective of poor preachers, for if we are moved to share the news of cheap groceries the good news of Jesus compels us more.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers

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