As I write this I should be working on my Easter sermon instead, but I’m stuck. I mean, what should a preacher preach on Easter? The Resurrection, right? Sure, that’s a no-brainer. But what about the Resurrection needs to be said? Should I just retell the story? Should I focus on how Jesus’ resurrection gives us new life? Maybe I could talk about the kind of leadership Jesus demonstrated by submitting to the Father and sacrificing himself. Do I tune the sermon to reach the ears of seekers, or should I focus on the faithful? There are so many questions that I haven’t answered yet, and it’s Friday already.
So about three minutes ago, I did what I do when I get stuck like this. I prayed.
And I prayed what I often pray: God, please give me something to say.
Now, I think that’s a fine thing to pray for. Nothing really wrong with it. But as I was praying it a few minutes ago, I thought to myself, Maybe I should be asking God to give me something to hear.
As I’m typing these words I’m still working through this, so forgive what may be the rambling nature of this post. But I’m excited to explore the difference–as a preacher–of asking God for something to say to others versus asking God to say something to me that I need to hear.
If you’re a preacher or teacher of the gospel then you know how often we feel burdened to teach God’s truth in a way that is palatable and digestible. We want to be relevant to the needs of the people listening to us. But I’m wondering if in the process of trying to know our congregations well enough to speak to their needs we might sometimes forget that we, too, have countless rough edges that God needs to refine. And God has words of truth for us. Maybe if we started our search for a sermon by asking God to speak to us, to teach us, to encourage and convict and challenge us, then we might be able to get up on Sunday and really speak as men of God with something to say.
Even if you’re not a preacher or teacher, surely this still applies, because God does have something to say to anyone who will listen. If we will listen….
God bless you. He is risen.