Our pastor mentioned today a book he was writing on preaching. During the course of his research, he has been surprised to discover that the great preachers of the ages agree on the ultimate job of the preacher. I imagine many today would enter long debate regarding the answer to that question. What is a preacher’s job?
To teach the scriptures? To explain how to live the Christian life? To counsel the people? To lead? To inspire? To deliver messages from the Lord? To pray?
Well, perhaps a little of all that comes into play, but none of it became the singular focus of the great preachers –nor of my pastor himself. His conclusion:
The preacher’s job is to bring people into the presence of God.
This morning, as he said it, I realized that’s my job, too. I could see it in my mind’s eye: through the course of a story, I bring people into moments where the Holy Spirit can speak to their hearts. Again and again, here and there, with different moments for different readers or watchers or hearers, the voice of God will speak. The heart of God will touch theirs. The call of God will echo in their ears.
Come to Me, you who are weary and heavy-laden.
Come to Me, you who are thirsty.
Come to Me, you who long for love and meaning.
Come to Me, you broken-hearted, you desperate, you sick and dying.
And I shall give you rest. And healing. And wholeness. And I’ll pour out My love upon you, filling you until every human sense you have is tingling, ringing, pulsing, savoring the manifestations of it. Until you laugh and sing and dance with the overflow of it.
Let the glory of the Lord fill the earth! Let His love call ring out through the atmosphere. Let His beauty shine through in every line of my art, every word of my stories, through the faces of the actors and actresses that play the parts, and through the unsaid words that will speak to hearts in silent plea: Come to Me.
Yeah, I wanna be a part of that!