Monthly theme: Identity
Reading time: two minutes
Ever sit down to write a sermon and think, “I’ve got nothing”?
Good. Now you’re ready.
I laughed at the silliness of the cartoon, a preacher at his desk under an enormous wall of books, thinking to himself, “I wish I could think of something to speak on.” Ha ha, funny.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that he’d be far more prepared to preach by not thinking of something.
No one wants to hear what you have to say. People want to hear from Jesus.
There’s an awful lot of axe-grinding going on from pulpits in the name of the Christian faith that is an embarrassment to the gospel.
When we’re at our best, we’re like quiet little lambs with nothing to say, so we can speak the Word of the Lord with a voice like thunder.
I’m sure you’ve heard people say, “Pastor, I just don’t know how you can come up with sermon material the way you do week after week.” Maybe we should let them in on our secret.
Our identity as preachers is found at the intersection of two amazing and wondrous miracles of the kingdom. The result is an army of timid little lambs that speak with the thunder of heaven.
The first miracle is that the ancient refrain, “And the word of the Lord came to him saying…” is not ancient at all, but a living reality in your life week by week.
The Holy Week ahead of you should look a little intimidating. Crowds gather to hear words of eternal life. You climb into the pulpit. Silence and eager eyes and hungry hearts greet you.
Humbling if you think about it. I hope you do. I hope you are.
Then you speak. Not your own words, but the Word of God, fresh from heaven.
A Word that transforms lives.
A Word that opens the gates of life eternal.
A Word that raises the dead to new life.
You speak and you say, “I got nuthin’, but the Lord of heaven and earth has a Word for you today.”
Miracle #2 is that he’s chosen to pour his Word into them after it has passed through you.
It’s a Word that has already touched your bleeding wounds and turned them into scars.
Through the vessel of your unique personhood, your experiences, your dreams, your failures, your creativity, your history, your articulation, your stories, your story, and through your fuzzy little wooly lamb-iness, comes a voice like thunder.
You’re in my prayers this week. Step into the pulpit like, “I got nothin’.”
Then preach like thunder.
Thanks for reading.