I have been a religious educator for nearly three decades. I, along my spiritual journey, have also been a chaplain and a “pulpit minister.” For ten years I preached on average three times a week, and found the exhilaration of bringing the Word of God to an audience. I then made the lateral step into full time teaching, and with that move, my “pulpit time” dropped to occasional filling in for others, and to chaplaincy events. The number of engagements has dropped even more in recent years (though my educational and advisory roles have increased). So it is with mixed feelings that I face the challenge of God’s call today. I am scheduled to deliver not one but two messages in a single day, at two separate churches. I am excited, but I am also apprehensive to be entrusted with the burden of God’s Word.
The Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 9:16 said, ” For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” I well understand him. I preach not for my glory, but His. The message of the gospel is compelling. Woe to me, if I do not share, teach, admonish and comfort with it.
So, here I am preparing to stand before those who have all the usual human needs. I trust that God’s Spirit will make me worthy and capable to meet those needs, not through my strength, but His.