Today is Christmas Eve. It is my first Christmas Eve as a pastor, and I want to get things right.
That was one of my thoughts as I spent some time in prayer this morning, and it has been a recurrent thought as I prepare to lead God's people in worship each week. And frankly, as a pastor I have recurrent struggles with that thought, mostly because I want to "get things right" for the right reasons, and not the wrong ones.
I have the desire to "get things right" in worship because I am the pastor and leading worship is what the people in the congregation expect me to do. But the temptation is to do things in such a way that they begin to think of how great a pastor I am, or what a wonderful preacher I may be, or similar things.
I certainly want to be competent at what I do, but not in a way that points their attention on me.
What I really want is to be competent as a pastor in such a way that the people in my congregation cast their eyes past me and onto their Savior. I want to tell God's story in such a way that the people hearing it don't focus on the storyteller but on the Hero of the story.
It’s a captivating story, God's story that begins in creation and ends in the fulfillment of His plan of redemption. It isn't captivating because it is told well in the Bible, although it certainly is. Fascinating characters. Compelling plot. Unexpected turns of events.
Its captivating because it is true.
From beginning to end, it's true. I understand that my way of seeing God's story, as truth, isn't the way many other people understand it. So another prayer is that I would be able to serve Him well in carrying His truth into the world, wherever I may be at the moment.
As I prepare for worship this evening here is the small part of the story that stands out in my mind, from Luke 2:
"Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."
As you hear the story, may you look past the storyteller and cast your eyes on the Hero.
A Savior…Christ…the Lord.
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.