especially when it’s ugly…?
i can’t guarantee you that the lesson i learned today is actually a genuine bit of truth…or a private message from god’s mischievous side…or simply an obvious reality that i somehow continue to overlook. no matter. it surely came through loud and clear!
as soon as i got up and rolling this morning (sunday), i started to get pretty pumped about the message i had prepared. i seldom get overly excited about preaching. it’s not that i’m not convicted. i usually am. it’s just not my personality to get all worked up over my own sermon.
and i’m not really a natural extrovert.
but this morning brought a pretty high degree of anticipation. this sermon series on love has been good for me. today’s text was john 8:2-11…the story of jesus and the woman caught in the act of adultery…and the message of love, repentance, and forgiveness found in the interaction the two of them had.
it’s simply one of the most powerful and life-giving stories in the bible. it is one of those stories that must be taught again and again..not because it is difficult to understand, but because we can find ourselves so vividly in the flow and context of the first-century screenplay.
…and i couldn’t wait for people to come and hear the story. my expectations for a full house built all morning. when i heard the band practicing a new song before the first service, i was moved. it caused me to rethink the plan for how the services would play out.
it only heightened my hope for a full house.
i just knew in my soul that this was an experience that nobody in our church family should miss. and i was sure they wouldn’t.
so much for my prophetic giftedness.
we had one of the lowest attendances in forever. i worked hard to cover my disappointment and stay focused on teaching the text diligently and accurately. but deep in my heart, there was a sadness. i soooo wanted our people to walk through this story with me.
but here’s the thing: during the singing time following the message in the second hour, it hit me. this sermon was for me. not for others. not for all the people who weren’t there. not for the small crowd who joined us. for me.
so glad i didn’t completely miss the point today.