Friday, January 25, 2008

Countdown to Sunday, Part Two

It's been a whirlwind. Monday and Tuesday in Arkansas with my parents and Jimmy Mitchell. Wednesday in the Metroplex at the Legacy church with Allan Stanglin and crew. Yesterday and today in Lubbock with Dale and Lauri Mannon and the Sunset Lectures.

But my countdown is toward Saturday and the return home to Mandy and the girls.


More from Chris Erdman:

“I realize that it (taking time to be still in the course of sermon preparation) runs counter to the way many of us work our weeks, but doing so is more consistent with the nature of our work…a spiritual and contemplative experience of the Word that no preacher can neglect. Unfortunately, we in our day have become so enamored with so-called communication excellence and its corollary, the terribly seductive siren called ‘relevance,’ that many of us strain right through till the time we preach, trying to find just the right words or joke or story or video clip. We enter worship breathless and sometimes so proud of ourselves and what we’ve come up with that we’re not much good to God and the people God wants to form according to the Word.

Great communicators are a dime a dozen. And we don’t need more of them. It’s not terribly difficult to please the masses, to entertain, to fill time with what amounts to little more than religious ‘spam.’ It’s not hard to run off half-cocked having spent very little time really listening to God…On Fridays my most important task is to simply plop down before the Lord and listen.

In listening, the real sermon is born. In listening, the preacher is changed from being a mere reporter of things observed to being a messenger. A sermon is not a poetry reading or a lecture or an exhibition of great oratory skills – it is a living word. And if I am to utter this word, I must be sent from the Word. I must have dwelt long enough in the presence of the Word to yield up my own will and fears and imaginations. Like dirt held in the hands of the Creator, I am raw material; everything I’ve done has fertile potential but is not yet what it might be when the Breath comes and gives life (Genesis 2.7)”