one or the other isn't a choice

Every person seeking to honor God deals with the tension of seeking to honor people instead.  Pastors are no exception, especially since each week we step up to bat and attempt to share truth in a world full of opinions.

One way I deal with this is to pretend that every Sunday is the last sermon I'll ever preach. It helps me remember that one day this will be the case (as morbid as that sounds), but also that in the meantime I can't put on the mask of doing what sounds politically correct at the expense of being biblically sound. If I truly care about Jesus Christ and other people, then I need to make the most of that opportunity (and every other opportunity in every day, for that matter) to share what's important with the people I love.
Preachers must always try to feel what it is like to live inside the skins of the people they preach to, to hear the truth as they hear it. That is not as hard as it sounds because, of course, they are themselves hearers of truth as well as tellers of truth, and listen out of the same emptiness as the people do for a truth to fill them and make them true. - Frederick Buechner

It's not easy... but easy is deceptive. The very presence of tension, conflict, and trouble could be a sign that you’re right where you need to be doing exactly what you need to be doing. Yesterday was no exception for me, especially since I exhaled some uncomfortable truth.

And so I wanted to write a word out there to my peers who wonder sometimes if the "Monday blues" (the potential to feel down after feedback or insecurities pop up) are worth it.

This is from Rob Bell and his talk "Poets, Prophets and Teachers"



When you bring the fresh Word... 

when you stand up in the midst of your community after prayer, study... 

in community you've discussed this... 

and you bring a new word and you've got others around you that are resonating... 

there is a chance that you won't be understood.

There is a chance that you are speaking something that some can't see.

When you give a sermon you open yourself up to...

misinterpretation and confusion and anger and ignorance and blogging and fear and jealousy and opinions and evaluation and critique and agenda and baggage and convictions and projections (and this is way more about them than about you)

and at the exact same moment you are also opening yourself up to the possibility of....

truth and light and hope and repentance and desire and compassion and longing and revolution and confession and inspiration and comfort and solidarity and salvation and resurrection.

And when you do this... 

you don't get to pick one or the other.

You want the one? 

Then you've got to be willing to take the other.

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