‘Have I got to interpret the Bible facts for you? I want to tell you it is a great relief to me that I don’t have to do that… Now it would be very grim thing if I had these 66 books of the Bible, all these thousands of pages, and God gave me the job of taking all this raw material and cooking it – so that I present to you an understanding of the Christian faith. That would be quite beyond my wisdom. It seems people are trying to do that but I am not trying to do that. No, the Bible writers have already cooked the material. That is, they have already prepared it so the finished product is here. The Bible is not asking us to interpret it. The Bible is an interpretation. My job is to tell you what the explanation is.’ Dick Lucas (from here)
Preachers are waiters not chefs. We haven't got to concoct a tasty message from raw and unpalatable ingredients. We haven't got to make the dish work through bold and imaginative combinations. We haven't got to water down the strong stuff or spice up the bland. We haven't got to flavour it to taste.
We just have to get the dish onto the table, as piping hot as possible and trying not to spill any.
Et voila! Bon apetit!
No-one cares if their waiter can cook. No-one wants to hear their waiter speak about their culinary abilities.
What's actually helpful is if the waiter is something of a gourmand and can wax eloquent on the dish of the day. Yes that can be very helpful. As the waiter enthuses on the chef's special, we swallow hard, widen our eyes, deepen our appetite.
What we need are food lovers not food technicians.
God save us from waiters who think they are chefs. God grant us waiters with a passion for the plat du jour.
(And yes, I've now exhausted all the French I know).
And it all makes me think of Dave's super-instinct.