Preaching matters. This is no small thing we do.
Life is hard. The world offers less than what it promises. Disappointments abound. Failure is everywhere. Sometimes even God seems to act in ways that pain us. People do not gather on a Sunday morning in a vacuum. They bring their stuff with them and it isn’t always good stuff.
The pain that people bring will raise the stakes for whatever is going to happen when we preach. Preachers had better be ready for the fact that their words have consequences. What they say could spark a flame or detonate a bomb in people’s lives. The God of the universe is speaking and everything could change by the fact that we have heard.
It is too easy to feel like this is just another Sunday – that we have been here before and done this already. We don’t expect enough from the sermons that we offer. We forget that we preach in the presence of God who lives to see his people loved. There could be transformation here if we all would take this seriously enough.
Preachers trade in words and words are often disrespected. It’s only talk, they say. Blah, blah, blah. Sticks and stones will break my bones, but your words will never hurt me. Except that they do. Words hurt us. Words heal us. Words penetrate and stimulate and elevate. It is no accident that Jesus was known as the Word. In the beginning was the Word. Word was all there was and yet that Word was enough to see a universe created and a people prepared for the everlasting love of God.
Preachers don’t just trade in ordinary words – cheap words. The words we preach came at a price. They cost our Lord his life and they are dear words – words that can help us through our pain and lead us to a Saviour who has overcome the world.
So put your back into this, preacher! Invest yourself. Choose good words. Choose powerful words. Choose to preach the Word of life. Preach it like it matters to you. I assure you that it matters to them – and to Him.