Jaunt #1: I Love Preaching…I Hate Preaching
As I walked down from the pulpit recently, I sat down with my head in my hands. My mind and heart raced. On the one hand I love preaching. It is a wonderful thing to handle the Word of God in the presence of the people of God.
This holiday season do you find yourself on a wise journey or a foolish journey? The foolish journey only takes you by all of the trappings of the season. You see the lights, hear the music, decorate the tree, and wrap the gifts. But you miss out on what the Magi experienced that first Advent as recorded by the gospel writer Matthew.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and fell down and worshiped him.
Mama prayed. Two of the most potent words in the English language.
In the Bible we see examples of Mama Prayed with Hannah (1 Samuel 1-2), Elizabeth (Luke 1:41-45), and Mary (Luke 1:46-55).
We also find in Scripture the examples of women who tried to use their own ingenuity rather than pray. Think of Sarai (Genesis 16:1-2), Rachel (Genesis 30:3-5), and Leah (Genesis 30:9-10). Their plans may have added children to their families, but the resulting consequences have not always been ideal.
The Lonesome Fugitive
In 1967 Merle Haggard released an album titled I’m a Lonesome Fugitive. The title song tells the story of a lonely man on the run from the law. It includes this key line which revealed that the fugitive’s mama prayed.
I raised a lot of Cain back in my younger days,
While Mama used to pray my crops would fail.
Tune my heart to sing thy grace.
In 1757 the Englishman Robert Robinson penned the words to a hymn that many of us grew up singing in church. Rich lyrics run throughout the hymn especially in the first and final lines. Let’s focus our attention on the prayer request from the opening of the hymn, Tune my heart to sing thy grace.
Recapturing the Wonder: Transcendent Faith in a Disenchanted World is Mike Cosper’s latest book contribution. He is the founder of Harbor Media, which targets Christians living in a Post-Christian world. Prior to that he spent nearly two decades as a pastor with a keen focus on music and the arts. He is also a friend as a sat under his leadership while living in Louisville, KY. He possesses the combination of being a solid theologian inside an artist’s body. For that reason he is uniquely qualified to write this book.
The very idea of living for the glory of God appears to be many people’s idea of hell.
We may be tempted like those early disciples of Jesus to ask whether he cares when we seem to be perishing. These twelve men found themselves in the midst of a violent storm on the Sea of Galilee. While they panicked, Jesus slept. They awakened him with their question of his concern or seemingly lack of concern. Have you ever found yourself in a similar boat? Has it seemed to you as if Jesus were sleeping while some violent storm threatened you?
And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”