After the service rituals

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After the services on Sunday I was asked two remarkable questions. The first one was having preached on Matthew 28:1-10 . What evidence do I have that Mary Magdalene was sad at the crucifixion, as there are no verses which seem to speak of her emotions at that point? Am I just not reading into the text that she was sad? After about 5 minutes I gave up trying to convince her that the fact she was there, standing at a distance from the Cross, and was there, opposite his tomb gave us enough evidence that she cared for Jesus and so must have felt sad. She loved him. Back came the reply ' There's no verse that actually says that. I want chapter and verse!!!' At this point I resisted violence, muttered 'I'll come back to you' and smiled.
 
Then to top it off on Sunday night, preaching away, I was asked, quite out of the blue, 'what do you think is the difference between Lewis' and Edwards' metaphysics?'' For a while I thought, 'What on earth is Lewis Allen doing writing on metaphysics?' but after a short pause I said,' I don't even understand the question'. At least my questioner asked it with a wry smile on his face.
 
I find the after service rituals on Sundays quite difficult. I was brought up in a church where the minister went to the door and we all shuffled past to shake his hand. It meant you had to say something complimentary to him and there ended up being a huge bottleneck to get out of church behind the more talkative members of the congregation. Dr Lloyd Jones would wait in his vestry, although it  would have the advantage for me that for weeks on end no one would come and see me.  My question would be how do you get rid of time wasters? According to Lyle Dorsett, AW Tozer went into the creche and just mucked about with the kids and played with the toys thus avoiding the adults which seems to me to be very sensible. I'm told William Still sat at the front of the congregation on Sunday nights and waited for folk to come up and see him. I have managed to perfect the art of  ''circuits'', basically wandering around the congregation appearing like you're looking for someone but without actually talking to anyone. It's a terrible admission. I want to be a good shepherd to people but it's hard work talking after preaching.
 
Of course I'm being facetious. There are normally great conversations after the service. It's prime pastoral time but show a little bit of love to your preachers  after the service. There are real questions and then there are times when it's better just to show a little bit of compassion to the preacher and leave him alone.
Posted April 28, 2011 @ 4:22 AM by Paul Levy
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