I can honestly say I wish I had read MONDAYS WITH MY OLD PASTOR when I was a young preacher. The wisdom contained in this book has blessed me tremendously. There are few chapters when my eyes did not shed tears. This is not just a sentimental book about an old pastor, but instead is a very rich resource of wisdom and strength that I feel has given me greater insights into what it means to be a preacher.
“Life doesn’t start when you’re twenty, or when you’re forty. Life starts at Calvary. And that’s where fruitful service begins as well. Let the cross be so present in you that it becomes your way of life and your rest.”
This book recounts a young minister’s twelve Mondays spent with an elderly pastor and the lessons and stories he heard while there. In every chapter the old pastor gives the young pastor a key to living life in the shadow of the cross while serving the God of the church. Enclosed in these chapters are some wonderful stories and truths that will enrich anyone who serves in the ministry of the church.
“God is not looking for celebrities, nor does He choose His servants consulting celebrity magazines; He prefers vessels of clay to administer His treasure … On a stage is where celebrities shine; on an altar is where God’s presence comes down. The two are incompatible; we will have to choose: human celebrities or godly impact.”
In one chapter the old pastor reveals the death of his son to his weekly visitor. The tenderness and grace with which this chapter was written was worth the whole book. Of course I resonated with this chapter.
“God draws near to us and wraps us and keeps us warm. The miracle of His presence fills the hole of any emptiness, even the most atrocious ones … even those losses that leave you adrift … I managed to understand that death is just a change in mission and that our little Joseph is more alive than ever, because if death weren’t a prelude to another life, then this present life would be a cruel joke.”
As I said earlier, I wish I had read this as a young minister. However, it’s possible that I wouldn’t have appreciated it in my younger years as much as I do now. I look forward to reading through this book again at a future date and gaining even more wisdom. Reading this book felt like I was the one who was spending Monday with My Old Pastor.
“Travel on the road of the cross until the end,” he told me. His eyes had a layer of water covering them, on which a smile was cradled. “Don’t give up. The cross has its price…but there is nothing more beautiful, or more worthy of embracing.”