I’ve been re-reading William Barclay’s Commentary on St Luke’s Gospel and was moved by this paragraph.
“Nothing has done the church more harm than the repeated statement that the things of this world do not matter. In the middle thirties of this century unemployment invaded many respectable and decent homes. The father’s skill was rusting in idleness; the mother was trying to make a shilling do what a pound ought to do; children could not understand what was going on except that they were hungry. Men grew bitter or broken. To go and tell such people that material things make no difference was unforgiveable, especially if the teller was in reasonable comfort himself. General Booth was once blamed for offering food and meals to poor people instead of the simple gospel. The old warrior flashed back, “It is impossible to comfort men’s hearts with the love of God when their feet are perishing with cold.”
Give me Obama and the Salvation Army (for all their imperfections) over all the tele-evangelists and comfortable prelates!