Thoughts for After You’ve Preached (or, Why Luther Drank Beer on Sunday)
“In short, I will preach it, teach it, write it, but I will constrain no man by force, for faith must come freely without compulsion. Take myself as an example. I opposed indulgences and all the papists, but never with force. I simply taught, preached, and wrote God’s Word; otherwise I did nothing. And while I slept [cf. Mark 4:26–29], or drank Wittenberg beer with my friends Philip and Amsdorf, the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that no prince or emperor ever inflicted such losses upon it. I did nothing; the Word did everything.” – Martin Luther, Luther’s Works (vol. 51)
I still remember my dear friend Annetta who in my previous church encouraged me as a young pastor and preacher. She would always come up and point out something that encouraged or challenged her through something I said, which was always nice and helpful. She would also offer up a good question I hadn’t thought or addressed. Always in a respectful and helpful way too. Every time though, no matter what, she would then say, “Now, go be like Luther and go have a beer and let the Spirit do His work.”
Friends, you’ve done your part in studying and preaching the text God gave you to preach to His people yesterday. Now go have a drink or a nap, and trust the Holy Spirit to do His work of bringing about transformation in and through the lives of those we serve.