I’m “preaching” this coming Sunday. Now, I’ve “spoken”, given lots of “talks”, perhaps even many “messages” but I suppose I’ve never actually “preached.” (If we define “preach” as giving “the Word” to an assembled body of Believers on a Sunday morning…in this case, twice, and your parents come.)
Today was also a slightly momentous day as I finished reading the Old Testament. I’ve been doing a chronological read of the Bible (You are probably saying “Yes, Mike…we know that, you told us 68 times.”) and I’m blown away by all I’ve read…this shall be a yearly experience for me, at least for the next few years.
So I read the book of Malachi today. By all accounts, a pretty scary book. Israel has returned from exile, but they definitely aren’t living up to their former glory and standard with God, and once again, God is speaking to them…correcting them. Sternly. Their worship is half-hearted, they have compromised on a few things which greatly effect the purity of their worship. Malachi 1:10b-12 –
I have no pleasure in you, says the LORD of hosts,(R) and I will not accept an offering from your hand. 11For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name(S) will be[b] great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts. 12But you profane it when you say that(T) the Lord’s table is polluted, and its fruit, that is, its food may be despised.
You know you are in trouble when it starts out “I have no pleasure in you…” but it actually gets worse.
He then moves on to more directly address the priests. (or the “preachers”?) Check out 2:7-8
7For(O) the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people[d] should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. 8But you have turned aside from the way.(P) You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted(Q) the covenant of Levi, says the LORD of hosts, 9and so(R) I make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you do not keep my ways but(S) show partiality in your instruction.”
Like I said…kinda feelin the weight with that one.
Are we as “preachers” feeling this weight. Are we bringing the full counsel of His Word?
Are we as worship leaders and worship team members understanding this? We are called to instruct by song the Word of the Lord. Do we get that? Are we encouraging and reminding our body with cross-centered songs? Are we being faithful to the Word, to God as he describes and reveals himself in the Word? It’s not just those who preach who need to feel this weight, even those who only “preach” once in a while.