Well, it is World Series time and if the Rays don't find their bats, it'll be over tonight, but i see parallel in preaching and baseball (actually i see spiritual allegory in all sport, but that's another blog). Can I let you in on a preacher's heart a little? As a preacher I consider it a high privilege to actually open God's Word and talk on his behalf every Sunday. And I pray for, prepare for, and hope for life altering stuff every week. You know my commitment to the Word of God, so I already know something good will happen because it's the Word. But honestly, using a baseball analogy, I hope to hit a homerun every Sunday. I desire for revival-starting preaching every Sunday that i preach and .... here's the reality. I hit a lot of singles.
This is never more evident than after hitting a homerun. Last Sunday (not yesterday, the week before) was a homerun Sunday. The message was hard hitting (you shall not commit adultery), the decision time was awesome, I received tons of positive feedback and the bookstore sold a bunch of c.d.s As a preacher, these are the Sundays you really feel good about.
Then comes, "you shall not steal". I prayed, prepared and preached the same as last week...and well, I think I hit a single. Now, I've come to know in my head that singles are just as important and when it comes to preaching a year of singles (non spectacular, but Bible driven messages of truth) it is just as effective as hitting homeruns. But emotionally, I left the stage yesterday feeling like I had swung for the fences and missed. I know, I know. Many of my trusted friends have given me feedback that it was a good sermon. But as a preacher, i wanted it to be so much more. I know that God will use it, because his Word always changes us and forms us and challenges us and moves us closer to him. So, I'll take the single, but I want you to know that this week in "you shall not bear false witness" I'm swinging for the fences - you may want to sit in the balcony!
Next Monday at this time, I'll be flying out of NYC to Athens (not Kentucky, Greece) for a trip through many of the biblical sites of the book of Acts (Athens, Corinth, Thessalonica, Philippi, etc...) Sara and I are joining Bob and Sandi (missions pastor at our church) and several other pastors from around the country for this life changing experience. prayerfully, we will lead a trip for our congregation some time soon, but in the meantime, I'm looking forward to connecting with my spiritual heritage.