June 28th, 2014| Topic: RaMbLeS | 6


OK, another Madrid tip. If you are booklover. Or if you just like the smell of old books.

Or … even if you just like the best churros and chocolate in the world!

Now that needs explanation.

Chocolatería San Ginés, open 24 hours, every day, has been operating in a house since 1894. You can go there for coffee and cakes, but what you really want is churros and hot chocolate. The churros are doughnut-like fried things, with crispy, ridged surfaces and a soft core, ready to be dunked in the hot chocolate, à la España, thick, dark, and strong. ¡Magnífico!

Why “San Ginés”? Because it is next door to one of the oldest churches in the city, the church of San Ginés (last rebuilt in 1645). San Ginés, aka St. Genesius of Arles, is the patron saint of secretaries, FWIW.

Back to books …

If you like churros and chocolate and you pop in to aforementioned chocolatería (which I did every time I passed by), you can’t miss the bookstore. It is stuck like a barnacle to the walls of San Ginés church; in fact, the store and the church share a wall. So, Librería San Ginés. Though not as old as the church it clings to, it has been around since the early 1800s. Not as many books as your Barnes & Noble. But it has a lot more character. All kinds of tomes populate the wooden shelves, that the owner—who looks ancient—trundles out each morning. All secondhand. My kind of books. What a place to browse!

[And I found me an old dermatology textbook, too!]

Talking of books …

I’m just getting ready to send in a completed manuscript to the publisher: A Vision for Preaching, I call it. And it talks about the nine essential elements of preaching. The first element: Preaching is Biblical.

There are books and books and books.

My son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless,
and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.
Ecclesiastes 12:12

Said Hugh of St. Victor in the eleventh century:

The books that men write are made of the skins of dead animals or some other corruptible material and, as these last for only a short time, the books themselves grow old and in their own way are reduced to nothing, leaving no vestige of themselves behind. And all who read these books will die some day, and there is no one to be found who lives forever. These, therefore, being made of dead things by mortal beings who are going to die, cannot bestow enduring life on those who read and love them. They are certainly not worthy to be called books of life, but would be termed more fitly books of death, or of the dead or dying.”

But not the Bible.

It is abiding, of value to all generations.

Forever, Yahweh, is Your word;
it is established in heaven.
Psalm 119:89

It is weighty, telling us how to remain in relationship with God.

“If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love.”
John 15:10

And it is binding.

All Scripture is God-inspired and profitable for teaching,
for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
that the person of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16

It is the book of life—life here, and life hereafter. Therefore, preaching is biblical

I solemnly charge [you] in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,
… preach the word.
2 Timothy 3:16–4:2


  1. Sara Kaufman July 10, 2014 at 1:23 am

    This article is full of irony to me in that “Churros y Chocolate” was the first textbook for Spanish class in my high school. I looked on Amazon, and it appears the textbook is still around. In fact, it’s probably been used by many schools in the US, so it’s ironic to me that you packaged your message this way probably without knowledge of the basic Spanish textbook, although it begs the question of whether you took Spanish class in India and used this textbook too. Thanks for another great message w/ lots of application, as usual.

  2. Amin Bata June 30, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    From sugar tempting to faith confirming, all in one ramble, I love it. Thank you for your weekly commitment-it adds tremendously to my walk. I look forward to hearing you preach this Sunday.

  3. John Reed June 30, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Abe, all of your writing is superior but this one exceeds superior, whatever that may be.


Share Your Thoughts

Copyright © 2012 Homiletix  |  Blog theme by ThemeShift customized by Gurry Design  |  Full sitemap