Thank you for allowing me to be your child.
Thank you that there is now no condemnation for me, because I am in Christ.
Thank you that you for allowing me to gather with others and teach your Word, for entrusting me with the soul-stirring honor of preaching the liberating truth that can lead others to the King of kings and Lord of lords.
And, thank you, for the power of story, and for the privilege of being a writer.
In Jesus name, Amen.
Friends, it is impossible for me to adequately describe the awe I feel when I stand to preach the Word of God. It is one of those “moments” that stands out as unique in my human existence. It embraces my mind, strength, and soul…leaving me exhausted but fulfilled.
Sometimes, during those moments right before I’m going to stand up and begin preaching, I’m so focused on how I intend to start the message that I simply don’t know much else. One time, a lady had called all the children to the front of the sanctuary for a little children’s lesson. That usually happened at some point in the order of service before the sermon. Well, while she was talking to the kids, my mind wandered to the opening few sentences I wanted to use to start my message when she was done. In other words, I zoned out of what she was saying and zoned in on the introduction to the message I’d prepared and would momentarily be preaching.
Then I heard her say, “And now, kids, we’ll have Pastor Larry lead us in the Lord’s Prayer.”
Folks, my mind went completely blank. Trust me, I reallydo know the Lord’s Prayer. I can usually say it in a couple different versions. But not at that moment. I couldn’t remember how it started to save my life! I mean, for Pete’s sake, that wasn’t what I was going to be preaching!
I’m not exaggerating when I say that I was rummaging through my mind in a panicked rush and all I was coming up with were things like, “Eeny, Meni, Miny, Mo” or “Who built the Ark? Noah, Noah,” or “Would you like fries with that?” And, until that moment, I hadn’t noticed how incredibly warm it was in the church! I mean, come on people, let’s crack open a few windows!”
I mean the words to the Lord’s Prayer may be printed in red in most people’s Bibles, but they were written with invisible ink in my mind that day.
Finally some dear merciful saint started the Lord’s Prayer and I was able to join in.
Yep, I can get zoned in and lose track of other things going on around me. I can do it when I’m teaching, preaching, and even when I’m writing. The moment of communication (spoken or written) grabs my attention and I’m captivated by the power of words…the stewardship of story.
And more than anything, I desperately want it to matter. I want people to hear what I have to say and read what I have to write because it can help them on the path to or with God. I believe that with all my heart.
Fellow communicators, what you are doing matters. So do it with all your might. Give of your best to the Master!