Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Thousand Years And A Day

I am a purveyor of words. I most enjoy life, when I am teaching. As such, I have often been accused of purveying more words than my listeners can bear to hear in the time allotted. The nature of the words I purvey, the teachings of Christ, adds significance and weight to them. The preacher's passion and the weight of his content can contribute to creeping pride and arrogance so that he may think, if he does not say, "My listeners should be glad to listen, and it is more spiritual to hear me speak of the things of God for an hour than for a half hour." For the past several years, my church has become one that was less and less concerned about the time we "got out." The length of my sermons, around 45 minutes, and my style began to fashion us. Those who insisted in three points and a poem all in fifteen minutes or less have left. Those who have remained and who have come have not been bothered by time, but I have. During the last several years, I have asked God to help me be faithful to Him, to the calling to preach, and to the people I speak to each week, AND, to enable and teach me to do that in less time. Sometimes I find that people are so sated after a lengthy sermon that they want to take a nap spiritually, rather than digesting what they have been taught and then finding themselves hungry again for God. In the last several months, He has answered that prayer. My sermons are shorter, and I have still have passion, and God is still changing lives. And, low and behold, some have come to me and complained, saying, "Your sermons are too short. You need to preach longer." And I reply, in my heart, "Thank you very much. I'll be here all week."


Garrett Starr said...

And don't forget to tip your waitress.