Open Marriages and Drug Usage
January 7, 2014
My wife tells me that I frighten people. Whenever we are in public and I meet someone new, I ask, "What's going on?" in a somewhat loud voice. It is not the content of my initial greeting that frightens people but the volume. I do not plan on changing. It is a way to break the ice with strangers and make people laugh. Typically at some point in the conversation, I try to transition from small talk to Christ and his Church. As a pastor this is fairly easy to do. Once I tell those whom I newly meet my vocation, the dialogue eventually migrates to the things of God. I prefer to establish my relationship with strangers on the gospel, or perhaps more accurately put by telling them the gospel during our initial interaction, so that as we get to know each other and the topic is approached again, they will not be surprised. Matt Chandler put it well. (Watch the first two and a half minutes).
Today (January 6, 2014), I had the privilege to bring up the things of God with someone whom I have known for about a year and a half. This extremely nice lady knows that I am a pastor. Therefore, she expects our conversation to eventually move toward the Bible. Almost every time I see her, we dabble our dialogue about Christ and his Church. To my shame, I have not walked her through the entire gospel message. Perhaps it is because I continue to interact with her while she is working. I do not know. I pray, however, that I will have the privilege to share the life-giving message of Christ with her.
Meanwhile, I said something to spark her interest today about church that I have never said to anyone else. Normally, I give people a hard time when they use novice one-liners to introduce people into a spiritual conversation. Perhaps you have heard some of those one-liners. Someone has a glass of water and in an attempt to break the ice and pursue a spiritual conversation, a well-meaning Christian asks, "Have you heard of the living water?" Or if you find out someone enjoys rock music, you eventually get around to asking, "Have you heard of the chief cornerstone?" Years ago you may have heard something similar to these one-liners slip out of my mouth. I am too sophisticated for that now. Instead, I say other ridiculous things. Today was one such example.
When I saw this lady (let's call her, Susie), I invited her to church. Susie responded, "The church might burn down if I come." With a smile on my face, I said that she needs to come. "This Sunday," I said, "we are preaching about open marriages and drug usage." "What?" she asked. I repeated myself only to have her follow by saying, "I have not been to church in a long time; it will burn down." I retorted, "We have plenty of water." She laughed; I left. I did not think much of it. Minutes later she tracked me down and asked, "Can you tell me about what you are preaching on again? You have sparked my interest."
I do not know if I will ever tell anyone that I am going to preach a sermon on open marriages and drug usage again (see Genesis 29-30), but I am thankful that she was interested. I pray she accompanies my family to church this Lord's Day.
I guess you can throw this in the pile of, "Stupid things Leon says." Children: do not try this in your home town.