i’ve got that old familiar buzzing in my head. my senses are heightened and my heart is beating fast. if you are a church leader, you know exactly what i’m feeling. it’s the feeling god must have had right before he spoke the world into existence (or into evolution, depending on your point of view). i don’t get this feeling often, but i’ve got it now and i plan to enjoy it. “what’s this feeling” you ask?
the weekend is just around the corner and i’ve got something to say!
it might have something to do with the holiday season, but i don’t think so. and some might say that i’m just a glory whore and love being the center of attention, but it’s not that either (frankly, preaching is the least favorite part of my job. i just don’t get those guys who say, “i’ve GOT to preach.” uh, not me.). the truth is that god has been doing formational work in me and showing me some new things, and i cannot wait to share them with the people i love.
but i’ll bet they can.
i’m not an idiot. i realize that there is a high probability that i am the only person in the universe that is excited about this message. you see, for more than half my life i was a layperson (i hate that word…non-preacher? unclergy?). i heard dozens of great sermons, hundreds that were serviceable, and thousands that were a total waste of everyone’s time. i can count on one hand the number of times i’ve been listening to a sermon and thought, “i wish he would preach longer.” it’s not at all unusual, however, for me to think, “you said that already.” i think i might have even dropped off to sleep a time or two mid-sermon. to a church person, the most beautiful words in the english language are, “and in conclusion” or “finally” or “as i close.” (can i share an insider secret with you? they’re not true. oh, you already knew that?)
and that’s the problem. my church family (did i mention that i love with all my heart?) really need to hear what i have to say. the scriptural passages i’ve chosen are rich beyond belief and, when blended into a cohesive theme, have a chance to be utterly explosive. i’ve been mulling them over in my mind and massaging them on the page. i cannot wait to let them bubble up from my heart and spill out of my mouth. but how do i make my people hear? besides exhaustive preparation, a keen presentation, and a passionate delivery what else can i do? do my people know what a struggle this is? can they?
but here’s the best news of all–its not about me. god asks me the same question he asked of job: “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?” in other words, god gives birth to his word and he needs no midwife. yes, he ordains mouthpieces, but we are just as likely to clog communication as facilitate it (see references above). i don’t need to embellish god’s word, i just need to liberate it. and the results are not up to me, either. there are countless promises concerning the efficacy of god’s word. it is sharp, powerful, enduring, boundless, and illuminating. i suppose god is capable of seeing that his word lands in fertile soil.
now all i gotta’ do is see if i can keep ’em awake. i’ll let you know how it goes.