This Sunday, I am going to do something I have never done before. Something I never thought I would do. Something that makes the butterflies flutter all though my stomach just thinking about it.
I am going to stand in the pulpit of a church and deliver a sermon. I am going to preach.
On that December day when I opened the message on my phone and read the request from my pastor, I immediately thought two things. Either Lee is playing a joke on me, or he sent this to the wrong person. Neither of those two things were true. He was going to be gone for some much needed vacation time with his beautiful wife and wanted me to fill the pulpit while he was gone.
I have never felt a call to preach. I enjoy teaching, but to me, a sermon is very different than teaching a Bible study. I began to go through all the reasons why this was not a good idea.
- I have no training, education or background. Could I even put a sermon together?
- Who am I to stand in a pulpit and deliver a message? I have messed up more times that I can count. I am so unworthy.
- Music is my thing……not preaching
- What will our congregation think? This is not in my job description.
- Why would anyone want to listen to anything I have to say?
To say I struggled with the decision is an understatement. Then I remembered the words of Isaiah 6. There was the prophet, in the presence of the LORD. His first thought? He was standing there, in the presence of the Lord, feeling ashamed, unclean, unworthy. He thought his time had come to die. Then he heard the voice of the LORD saying Who can I send? Who will go for us? And seemingly, without hesitation, Isaiah said, “Here I am, send me.”
So, here I am, a little more than 48 hours before I stand and try to deliver words that will lift someone, make someone think or perhaps just rest in the knowledge that their Creator made them and loves them. And right before I preach in one of our services, our choir will sing, “Here I am, Lord”. No, I didn’t ask for that song or plan for it to be sung. The Spirit just works that way sometimes. I hope I hear them sing it. It will confirm what I already know. To be obedient, we have to say…………..
Here I am, Lord………send me………