Category Archives: Quotable

Everybody Can Be Great

There was an inspiring quote from Martin Luther King in an advertisement for Dodge Ram Trucks during yesterday’s Superbowl. The quote was inspiring as was the sermon it came from. But if you take time to read the entire sermon you’ll find (as you probably already guessed) that King did not preach that sermon to sell trucks. If you read the entire sermon, you’ll find an argument for being content with the material things we have and striving for the greater things of Christ Jesus.

It’s well worth your time to read the entire sermon, but here’s the part that was quoted in the commercial yesterday:

And so Jesus gave us a new norm of greatness. If you want to be important— wonderful. If you want to be recognized— wonderful. If you want to be great— wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. (Amen) That’s a new definition of greatness.

… By giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, (Everybody) because everybody can serve. (Amen) You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. (All right) You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. (Amen) You only need a heart full of grace, (Yes, sir. Amen) a soul generated by love. (Yes) And you can be that servant. — Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Strive for greatness today.

Link to the entire sermon:

Martin Luther King, “The Drum Major Instinct,” in A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., ed. Clayborne Carson and Peter Holloran (New York: Intellectual Properties Management in Association with Warner Books, 1998).

Not a Theory, But a Meal

Tomorrow is the first Sunday and we’ll be celebrating communion. It’s my belief that United Methodists have often underestimated the importance of this sacrament. One of the reasons it’s important is that it conveys the meaning of Jesus’s death and thus the depth of God’s love. N. T. Wright put it succinctly:

I have made the point elsewhere, but it bears repeating: when Jesus wanted to explain to his followers what his forthcoming death was all about, he did not give them a theory, a model, a metaphor, or any other such thing; he gave them a meal. — N. T. Wright

Come celebrate Holy Communion with us and know the depth of God’s love for you.

N. T. Wright, The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion (San Francisco: Harper One, 2016), locations 2994-2996 of 7465, Kindle.

Hate is Too Great a Burden to Bear

Today’s quotable is widely attributed to Coretta Scott King, but I haven’t been able to nail that down for sure.

Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated. — Coretta Scott King (Attributed)

Whether or not Mrs. King spoke them, the words are true and need to be heard.

To Wait for Christ

This is how we should wait for Christ’s return in glory:

To wait for Christ to come in his fullness is not just a passive thing, a pious, prayerful, churchly thing. On the contrary, to wait for Christ to come in his fullness is above all else to act in Christ’s stead as fully as we know how. — Frederick Buechner


Frederick Buechner, “Waiting,” in Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons (New York, NY: HarperOne, 2006).

No Place Where We Are More Like God

Today, I have another quote from Mike Slaughter’s lecture.

“There is no place where we are more like God than when we are giving.” — Mike Slaughter [1]

It’s true. God is Love and God’s gift of love (grace) flows out into the world (including human beings, made in God’s image) on a constant basis.

[1] Mike Slaughter, “The Heart of the Matter” (lecture, Orders and Fellowship Meeting, Younes Conference Center, Kearney, Nebraska, January 17, 2018).

Good News for the Poor

Jenny and I are in Kearney Nebraska for a clergy conference. I wanted to share this quip from Mike Slaughter:

“If it is not good news for the poor, it is not the gospel.” — Mike Slaughter [1]


[1] Mike Slaughter, “The Heart of the Matter” (lecture, Orders and Fellowship Meeting, Younes Conference Center, Kearney, Nebraska, January 17, 2018).

The Hidden Victory

I came across this succinct summary of the paradox of Christ’s victory on the cross in my reading for this Sunday’s sermon:

In the scandal of the cross, and in the lives of his followers who labored in its shadow, a heroic victory—God’s own victory over human sin, and error, and false pride—would be won. Yet the victory would be hidden within the appearance of defeat. — Charles L. Bartow [1]

[1] Charles L. Bartow, Feasting on the Gospels: Luke, Volume 1, Chapters 1-11, ed. Cynthia A. Jarvis and E. Elizabeth Johnson (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2014), 19.

Through Ordinary People

In my reading for this Sunday’s sermon I found a nugget from N. T. Wright that I wanted to share:

God regularly works through ordinary people, doing what they normally do, who with a mixture of half-faith and devotion are holding themselves ready for whatever God has in mind. [1]

Pay attention and hold yourself ready for whatever God has in mind.

[1] N. T. Wright, Luke for Everyone (London: SPCK, 2004), 8.

The Reason for and the Result of Evangelism

One of the membership vows new United Methodists take is to support the church with their witness. Hal Knight explained why we seek to do this (and that “why” is not the answer usually given) in an article that I’ve been meaning to share for a long while. Here’s an excerpt the summarizes the article:

the primary argument for the gospel is lives and churches who in their relationships, their life together, and their outreach to others is motivated and characterized by love. It is both the reason for and the result of evangelism. [1]

I encourage you to head over and listen to the whole thing.


[1] Henry H. Knight, “Great Commandment Evangelism,” Catalyst Resources, April 6, 2016, section goes here, accessed December 01, 2017,

Only Two Kinds of People in the End

There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. — C. S. Lewis [1]

C. S. Lewis isn’t God, and The Great Divorce is not the Bible, but I think this understanding of hell is compatible with biblical teaching.

[1] C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce (New York: Macmillan Company, 1946), Chapter 9.