Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The Preaching Paradox

Sunday morning I was sitting at my desk studying the lesson I was going to present that morning, and I did my usual "honesty check" to make sure I was trying to make a difference and not just filling a time slot. Was I being true to the context of the scripture I was covering? Was I helping people understand and know Jesus a little better, especially since it was His Gospel I was preaching? And, as my little 3M sicker on my computer reminds me, what was the bottom line of my lesson? What's the point? And that other soul searching sermon spotlight, "SO WHAT?" Will it make a difference to the people who will be hearing it?
In the midst of all this reflecting, a profound thought came into focus that I want to share - especially with all my preaching buddies and relatives. Here it is:
The paradox of preaching is that we are trying to lead people to a place we've never been, and show them how to have a deep relationship with God that we are still building.
For me, that is a very humbling thought. We're not the know-it-all's or the "Spiritual Answer Man" or even an example of success. Like any child of God, we are in the process of becoming what God wants us to be. We are on the same journey. The difference is, as preachers, they (our church family) are on OUR journey whether they want to be or not, because our journey is reflected in our preaching. We are not the preachers we use to be - praise the Lord! As we've grown spiritually, our preaching changes so we can help others who are on the same journey. As I look back on over thirty-five years of preaching, all I can say is, "Thank you God for your grace."

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