When a Difficult Week Makes a Preacher Sweat on Saturday Night

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When Monday morning rolls around, no one has a clue as to what the week will bring.  For me, I had aspirations of doing some major exegetical work on both Sunday morning and Sunday night sermons in the morning, then working on a position paper that is due for a class at Southern in the afternoon.  This would free me up to do some ministry visits on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

Oh, the Proverbist was right:  “Many are the plans of man, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”  This week, one of our elderly members passed away, another member’s brother passed away, another member’s aunt passed away, and our organist was admitted to the hospital with a serious issue with her asthma.  At times like this, I am so thankful that God called me into the pastorate to minister in such times as this.  For some, a simple phone call meant the world (they lived a ways away).  At other times, sitting in the hospital by their bed just to listen and encourage and comfort was priceless to me. 

For one of the members who passed away, God granted me the privilege of going down to the hospital to pray with her in the ICU at around 9:45 p.m.  She passed away at 12:30 the next morning.  Spending time with the family, who asked me to officiate her funeral, was another way I pray God used me.

Yet, it is now Saturday night.  I am an expository preacher and am not ashamed to say it!  Yet, it’s during weeks like these, that I sweat entering into the pulpit the following morning.  I find myself focusing on mechanics (is the introduction a gripper?  Do my transitions help the sermon flow smoothly? Is the conclusion a clunker?  Etc.). 

Yet, I will enter the pulpit confident that God will send forth His Word.  I pray I have been a faithful minister during the week, and may God give me the grace as His mouthpiece to proclaim the Word as He intends!  My prayer is that my people see that I love Christ, love His Book, and love them all at once! 

O Love, work your will and your Word through your people tomorrow morning and forever!

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