In the last several months, I have been given many opportunities to speak, teach, and preach. I recognize how much grace I am given to speak God's word. To preach is grace. To preach the gospel is amazing grace. I sat thinking of the enormous gift I have been given to do something that is truly worship for those who are wired in a similar fashion as me. I started to wonder what people walk away with after our time together. Below are those reflections:
If I am preaching, I want the ragamuffin pilgrim in me to be palpable. I want it to be clear and obvious I sit beside and never stand above. I am as bedraggled and beat up as you in any given week. I am also walking the straight and narrow, which just happens to also be rugged and beaten. We are still on the right path.
When I preach or stand before a group of people, I hope and pray they recognize a ragamuffin man who loves God and loves people with honest passion. I want them to see a man who, once he came to Jesus, he KEPT coming to Jesus.
I hope, before them is seen a man stretching out his hand to touch the hem of Jesus' garment from fear I am too unclean to embrace Him fully as I would like.
Yes, they hear me saying things; but the question really is, "What is God trying to say through my stumbling rhetoric?" I am a culprit among culprits. I hope my sermons would not come across as disembodied parts.
If I ever step in front of people as one "who dwells with God in light inaccessible" I would hope to never do this again. May I always "share in some way the poverty of the poor". I want to speak in such a way of the ludicrous love of God that others cannot help but think, "Wow! He really believes this stuff!"