Tuesday, October 14, 2008

An Update and Meditation

Julie, Ian and I took the weekend off and went to Paris. We stayed with friends, ate a lot of good food, walked for miles, and enjoyed ourselves. I'll put some pictures up later this week, and get back to regular posting, too. For now, here's a little something from this morning.

A few weeks ago I mentioned my preaching professor, Ian Pitt-Watson, in a sermon and blog post. I've been thinking about him a lot lately--he's one of a handful of "what-would-he-do-in-this-situation" people for me. I got a nice note from a member of his family when I posted his name (by the way, would you send me a message offline so I can say hello?), and I've been telling my son Ian a few stories about the other Ian.

Today I was watching the news and had another Pitt-Watson sighting. The world financial situation hits pretty close to the bone here--so much of the world's banking and finance business comes through London. I was listening to one of the talking heads on Sky News today, and when the graphic crossed the screen I had to stare before I realized who it was. David Pitt-Watson is a financier and political advisor here in the UK. I remember Ian talking about his children--one of his daughters was made touchingly famous in a book he wrote on preaching. Ian told us his son David was involved in international banking, and Ian would pretend not to understand what his son actually did (this was funny because Ian was one of the smartest people we knew).

So there's David Pitt-Watson on my TV, and I was struck by how much he looked like his father.

David's explanation of the crisis and potential solutions reminded me of the way Ian used talk about preaching the Gospel. He said that every good sermon (and really, should there be any other kind?) told Adam's story and Christ's story--an explanation of the crisis and the solution offered through the cross--and that you found your 'point' where those two stories intersected. I learned a lot of things in seminary, but there are only a handful that I use and think about on a regular basis.

This little analogy of what a sermon should be is at the top of the list.

Our story = sin, brokenness, war, injustice and death.
Christ's story = love, healing, sacrifice, peace, mercy and life.

The places where those strands meet is where Scripture comes alive for us--where the Gospel itself comes alive and gives life to us. Ian Pitt-Watson taught me that, and today his son reminded me that it's still a pretty good thing to know.

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