9.16.2005

re-experiencing God's love

I have had a bit of a revelation. Yesterday, in the midst of a meeting with district pastors, it hit me. I need to "re-experience" the love of God for me, for us all. When this hit me it was all I could do to keep from giving in to my emotions. Maybe I just should have let go. I just wasn't ready.

Later, when I shared the story with Kim, I gave in. I haven't had that kind of emotional reaction in my relationship with God since I sensed God's call to preach some 11 years ago. And you see where that got me.

But I digress. This "re-experiencing the love of God" seems essential to me, now. It is the thing that must give energy and drive to my part in the mission and that of our church community. My people and our leaders need this experience, too. Without it I fear that we are just playing church, going through the motions. And that is just not enough. May it never be enough.

I emailed my leaders and asked them to pray for me, the message and this Sunday. I then went to work on my sermon. Now that it's done, however, I am not all that pleased with it. When I run through it there is no spark, at least not like I hope I sense on Sunday when I preach it. I am very aware of the fact that I will not likely be able to communicate what I have been feeling, and that saddens me. This reminds me of the phrase I heard once (don't remember who said it first, but I heard it from James Forbes); it referred to the "sweet agony of Sunday morning" -- that thrill at being able to do what I do, seek to communicate something of God, but knowing all the while that I will not really suceed in it.

Of course, you guessed it. As soon as I began to fret over my inadequate sermon, I sensed God saying to me that what he wants to accomplish on Sunday will not happen because of a "great sermon." It will be because of prayer and the presence of God's Holy Spirit in me and among us as a congregation. I pray that I will be filled with God's Spirit. May it be so for us all.

On a related note, I sense a "shaking" of our church and leadership. I sense God is preparing us for something he wants to do in and through us, something new and challenging. If not yet, soon. This both scares and excites me. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done. Amen.

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