This past week has been a unique one for me in ministry. In addition to the regular activities of an ordinary week, of which preparing to preach on Sunday morning is probably the most important and most time-consuming, I also preached three funerals. Two of those funerals were in our church building and one was a graveside service, and in all three I was at the cemetery for the burial. Three different groups of families and friends, grieving losses that were completely unexpected, plus one group of people gathered together for worship on Sunday. The one thing that joined them all, from my point-of-view, was that they heard the good news of Jesus proclaimed to them.
The picture is one of my "work shoes" this past week. From left to right: Tuesday, preaching from John 20:30-31; Friday, from Luke 15:1-7; Saturday, from Psalm 121; and this morning, from John 1:1-5. The Gospel presentation from those sermons was stronger in some than in others, again, from my viewpoint, but it was there nonetheless. The essence was that we are sinners in the presence of a holy God, and the only hope we have for rescue is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Romans 10:14-15 Paul writes:
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
My present calling is to be a pastor on a reservation, and so in Paul's words I have been sent here in order that people may understand the good news of Jesus and call on Him for salvation. Those are the shoes that cover my feet as I do this work.
But the greater truth is that all people who have faith in Jesus should grow as followers of Him, preparing for that moment when in the telling of their faith story they become the means that God uses to open someone's eyes to see the glory of their Savior as they come to faith in Him.
I showed my shoes because, frankly, no one wants to see a picture of my feet. But those shoes cover one pair of feet that are carrying the good news of Jesus to a world that desperately needs it. And by God's grace, be it in your home, your neighborhood, or across the globe, your feet can do the same. Amen.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.