Thursday, March 06, 2008

Vernard Eller's Editorial

Back in his younger years while serving as the youthful editor of the Church of the Brethren Youth magazine, Vernard Eller had not yet gained a national reputation as a writer. However, he had heard stories of such Brethren editors of Gospel Messenger as J.H. Moore and Edward Frantz. One such story is of a Pennsylvania farmer who visited the Brethren Publishing House but was disappointed when he found Frantz gazing reflectively out his window. The farmer felt he was wasting time, rather than considering Frantz was reflecting on an upcoming editorial.

Eller later noted that he too could come up with editorial ideas by looking out his window. A year later he almost gave up window-looking after he watched sign painters use the back wall of the Rialto Theater across the river for an advertisement showing an eighty-foot giant carrying nine-foot glasses of beer. The sign bore this message, Meister Brau Beer - brewed for the likes of you.

Before he shut off the view, however, Eller's quick mind had translated Meister Brau into "The Master's Brew," and he was already comparing the glass of beer with Jesus' cup of suffering. Eller's editorial concluded, The brew of the Master was bitter; there was nothing likeable in it. In fact he prayed that the cup would be taken from him.... So choose you this day which cup you will drink - the Meister Brau, brewed for the likes of you, or the Master's Brew, brewed for the life of you.

Sources: Preaching in a Tavern, Morris

Horizons, January 26, 1951