“There’s nothing new under the sun.”
How rare the original thought.
For example, I was sitting in church last Sunday listening to a sermon on Pentecost.
That was when, the Book of Acts tells us, the crowd of believers was touched by the flames of the Holy Spirit coming down from above. This caused them to begin speaking in different languages, communicating with those who heard words in their own tongues.
“That sounded familiar,” I thought to myself. “It sounds like the reverse of the Tower of Babel story in the book of Genesis.”
And it is.
As most of us remember from vacation Bible school, Babel building was a human plan to show off by constructing a tower up toward heaven. Its arrogance was thwarted when the workmen began to speak in different languages and could no longer communicate with one another during their massive engineering project.
What a great sermon idea, I thought.
There’s failure when we try to build ourselves up, but success when we follow the word sent down.
It practically writes itself: State the premise. Tell a joke. Compare and contrast. Throw in an anecdote about a friend you knew in grade school. Offer a deep insight from a dead theologian or obscure prophet. Conclude by repeating the premise in a slow, serious voice.
Prayer. Final hymn. Head to Red Lobster.
I was so pleased with myself, I hurried to a computer (not Red Lobster) to see if any dead theologian or obscure prophet had come up with this brilliant insight before me.
Well … yes, they have.
Thousands, Google says.
So much for the original sin of thinking I’d thought up something new.
TODAY IN HISTORY: On June 10, 1938, The Chronicle reported that the U.S. Senate had approved $1.7 million to acquire 85,000 acres of land in Georgia and South Carolina for the Clarks Hill Project.
Lester Moody, Augusta Chamber of Commerce secretary, said President Roosevelt had assured him of help from WPA workmen in getting the area cleared if Congress agreed to purchase it.
TODAY’S JOKE: A liquor salesman making a sales call encountered a friend in a local bar at noon.
“I’m surprised to see you with a drink in your hand in the middle of the day,” the salesman said. “I hope you’re celebrating.”
“In a way, I am,” his friend replied. “I put all my money on a sure thing at the track. It was the seventh horse in the seventh race today, the seventh day of the seventh month, as well as my son’s seventh birthday. The horse’s name was Lucky Seven, and the odds were 7-to-1.”
“And the horse finished first!” the salesman shouted with delight.
“No,” replied his friend, “seventh.”
Reach Bill Kirby at firstname.lastname@example.org or (706) 823-3344.