I WAS GLAD WHEN THEY SAID TO ME,
LET US GO INTO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD.
In an article by Lewis B. Smedes entitled “Preaching to Ordinary People” he stated that many times preachers do not preach to eager scholars, but to silent sufferers in the pew.
The husband and wife smile on cue at the funny jokes the preacher says, all the while hating each other for letting the romance in their marriage collapse.
A widow, whispers her “amens” to every promise of divine providence, as she continues to fear the loneliness of each day.
A father, the model of parental firmness, comes to grips with the fact that he has failed in some areas and must confess his weakness to both God and child.
An attractive young woman sits staring into nothingness, paralyzed with the reality of breast cancer.
Parents who believe their child has made a terrible mistake in selection of a mate are reduced to private prayers because “theirs” is now “one” with another.
A middle aged fellow has not gained the courage to tell his already struggling family that his employment has been terminated.
A submissive wife, shrouded with a cloak of respectability, is terrified because she is being pushed to face up to her closet alcoholism.
A teenager, hurting and crushed with the guilt of sin, fears hurting family and friends in open penitence.
A family whose spiritual stability has slowly eroded and now sits in earnest lukewarmness, and because of faith’s failure, thinks spectatorship is proof certain that they are on God’s side.
These are ordinary people. Things are wrong on the edges. They need someone to focus on the center of their lives and remind them of the grace of God that has been kept secret. Ordinary people are sometimes sad. They can be glad, and should be glad, in the house of the Lord . . . where preachers preach the gospel of grace. Rex Turner
As I was preparing my lesson for this Sunday on preaching in worship I came across this article and reminded myself of who I preach to, and the problems of which I am unaware on every Sunday morning. I need to preach grace and hope to you, as well as the need for all of us to repent of sins in our lives. Balance in preaching is hard sometimes. Please pray for me!
THE FIRST MISSIONARY
“So you are going to leave?”
“Yes, Father. I’ve got to preach to them. They need the good news so badly. I have to go.”
“It will be so different for you, Son. You may not like it. They are not like us.”
“I know, Father.”
“You will have to live with them. You will have to eat their food. You will have to speak their language. You will have to share their joys and sorrows, their problems, and their pains.”
“I know that, Father, and I’m prepared for that.”
“And the situation there is not good. There is a lot of political turmoil, the economy is bad, and the people are restless. They won’t be receptive to spiritual things. They won’t listen.”
“But some will, Father, and if I do not go, what will happen to them?”
“I know how you feel, Son. I do not want any of them to be lost either. I want them all to know the truth and be saved. I want you to go. But you are my son, and I want to be sure that you know what you are doing; that you know the sacrifice you will have to make, the risks you will be taking, the danger involved. If you leave me, you will be leaving home, comfort and safety. It’s your life I m talking about. Are you willing to give all that up?”
“I am willing, Father.”
“Then go, Son, and my love goes with you.”
And Jesus went.
Ray Gann, Robins Reporter, Church of Christ Warner Robins GA June 10,1990