Thursday, November 10, 2005

For the Good of the World

Each week that I prepare a sermon, God brings a visual representation to give life to the concept. I have come to expect it. Now, my mom is calling me to ask what has happened yet. We all walk in to worship, look around, and try to find what God brought us this week.

One week this summer, the topic was "Being Known By Christ." My text was Zaccheus. The outline I had drafted started with everyone singing the children's song and doing the motions. I wanted to illustrate that what we knew of Zaccheus was incorrect. Jesus did not scold him; He found Zaccheaus and treated him with great compassion. As I stepped from my chair, placed my notes on the podium, the middle-schooler on the front row made eye contact with me. He is a little person, standing about 3 feet tall. I skipped the intro, let the text speak for itself (Zaccheus was small in stature), and moved on to the fact that he was alone.

It happened again last month. As we talked about forgiveness, it was time to discuss forgiving those who wounded us greatly. That week, a man my age visited us for the first time. He is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. A drunk driver hit him when he was in high school.

However, Sunday took this experience to a new level. My sermon topic, "Grace, Morality, and Politics." How can we live "for the good of the world" instead of existing as a church for mere political purposes. A dear father in our congregation walks in wearing his army uniform. As a Westpoint graduate who has a daughter there now, he keeps in contact with his college friends. One is a general in Iraq. This man feels that God has called him back to Baghdad to train Iraqi leaders on developing a democratic government. It was his last Sunday with us. I sat and gave my sermon, a young girl adopted from Sudan told her testimony, and this father came forward for prayer. Amazing.

God is real and cares about even my sermon topics. Can you believe it?

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