What is Next Week?
From time to time someone will mention something I have said in a recent sermon, and it would typically be a bit puzzling to me. “That was last week”, I have even thought to myself. Truly, I am grateful that someone would listen to the scriptures I convey, but that was last week. I recently realized: Preachers experience sermons backwards from everyone else. (insert your joke about the preacher being backwards here)
Monday, I look at the message scheduled, and I read the correlating scripture. All creativity was expended the day before and Mondays are not “creative” days- typically Tuesdays aren’t much different. (I would like to say I pray about every sermon every day…but alas, that is an area in which I need to grow). But I’ll think about the title and the scripture. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are good to listen to a sermon about the scriptures I’m going to preach and get a feel for what “preachers typically say” about it. Thursday is a good day to be creative and read and perhaps write. Friday is the deadline and pen must be put to paper. The outline must be written- meaning the sermon is complete. Then the outline gets chopped up to fit into the bulletin; I must weigh what words are important for the congregant to read and what is not necessary. Sunday morning, over coffee, I go through the entire outline. How am I going to deliver this point? Does this outline even make sense anymore, or was I excited about something I forgot already. Finally, I stand up and walk to the podium: “Good morning… … … …stand and sing.” And flush. The message complete. What is next week?
But for everyone else the sermon has just been born! Explanations of scripture have just filled their ears (and hopefully, hearts). In the next days many Berean-like brethren will ruminate on the message they have heard continuing to make ties to their own lives and how God’s Word is applicable.
What is my point? God’s Word is living and active. One fulfillment of that truth is this: What you are meditating on today is the message someone else may need to hear tomorrow. You may present the gospel and not get the response you hoped for and leave thinking; “I tried, but I guess they didn’t listen”. Give God time to grow that seed in them- and be ready for next week.