March 12, 2017
Dear FBCD Family,
As a preacher, I learned a long time ago never to trust my emotions when it came to how I felt after a sermon. Sometimes I felt that I had bombed, and then people told me that a sermon moved them deeply. Other times I felt that I had really been "on," but the apparent reaction of the congregation sure didn't reflect that.
What I am learning from being your interim pastor is that the preaching experience is just different when you are pastoring the congregation to which you are speaking. I can look around in both services and see people that I know, people whose parents I have buried, whose families I have helped counsel, or people I have visited when they were sick.
And there is a collective dimension too — the pastoral preacher doesn't just know more and more of the individual stories, but increasingly knows the collective story of the congregation. So the goal becomes not just to shepherd the individuals and families, but to shepherd the flock as a whole, to move all of us forward together in the direction I believe God wants us to go.
By now, every preaching opportunity strikes me as a sacred moment, with every word important. I find that I am being drawn back to the biblical and theological wellsprings of Christian faith as I understand it. Even though we have some fun on Sunday mornings, the overall purpose is highly serious — to proclaim the Word of God to the people of God in order that we together might become more faithful to the covenant promises we have made to Jesus Christ.
I hope to see all of you each week during this Lenten season, as we continue our meditations on the meanings of the Cross. This coming week we will turn our attention to "The Cross as Moral Example and Invitation," with our text being 1 John 4:7-11.
Have a wonderful week of service to Jesus —