There will be little talk from this pulpit hereafter about what you might GET from this Christian life. Oh we have had endless seasons of that!
The crusade approach said you were being offered the best of gifts to save your little rotten necks. You didn’t think they were all that rotten. Or perhaps you were told of all the pleasant advantages to life enjoyment. Or the terrible times of tribulation coming soon upon the earth. Or that simply this was a precious time foreordained by God for you to do the right thing.
I am convinced now that these are secondary approaches. We have heard words to the effect that we love him because He first loved us. That love went all the way to a cross and a hill and a blood letting in the midst of mockery storm and earthquake.
I am going to take you there … to the love of the Master. And in your everyday experience and hopes. This will not be pain free or brimful of money in the bank.
Under the Spirit’s supervision I am going to squeeze the nectars from each Gospel. Showing mercy and patience and healing and absolution and incomparable friendship. This brings impregnating words to your inner man. New life receiving continuous fine tuning and commission.
Some of you will miss the stroking and ear tickling. There will be other places for you.
I am reminded of the story of disciple Peter being told by Jesus to take another crack at fishing in the early morning light. The night on the Lake had been disappointing. What did this rabbi know about fishing? But the stupendous yield was hauled up soon in the nets!
And Peter’s words were Depart from me for I am a sinful man. An honest look at the winsomeness and courtesy and care of the Carpenter Preacher. An abandonment of all hope of self help. A confession before the greatest of priests. A happy and thankful discovery that Jesus had no intention of leaving…ever.
That will be the new leaf turned over in this pulpit. Friends please walk with me and delight in the discoveries of the Man of all men. And please pray.
top image shows preacher M’Cheyne of Dundee Scotland