I have been thinking a lot about preaching in these first few months of my formal ministry. It's easy to think about preaching simply in the terms outlined in the passage above. After all, what could be a greater thrill than standing before a crowd and boldly testifying of God's grace? I can tell you nothing gives me a greater thrill!
Consider the following examples:
- The homeschool mom who in addition to teaching English, reading, and math, preaches love and compassion to her little boy as she wipes his tears and bandages his scraped knee.
- The loving granddaughter who waits with her grandfather in the hospital waiting room and joyfully listens to his stories. She keeps his mind (at least somewhat) off grandma's surgery. She gives him one of her most precious resources--her time.
- The Dad who works hard all week then comes home and takes his girls to an all-day rabbit show, so that his wife can fly across the country to care for her granddaughter--and the grandmother who takes great delight in simply holding her sleeping granddaughter.
I am a preacher so I certainly don't want to take away from any who have been called to this work. In fact, I encourage you to do it with all your might! But we would do well to remember that while some may fall asleep during our sermons (I've had it happen to me, and I must admit, I've done it to others) those we know and love would be hard-pressed to forget the sermons of "love in action" we can all preach daily!
"Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works." (James 4:17-18)
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and preach! Your "congregation" is waiting!
"The preaching that this world needs most is the sermons in shoes that are walking with Jesus Christ."