I have been a christian for almost 50 years.
During those years I have been both witness to many wonderful and christian acts and heard so many sermons and read so many scriptures…that I daily think in scriptures.
I have had the pleasure of hearing many, talented, ministers deliver spell binding sermons that compelled me to get up and go forward and attempt to live the compelling christian life that the minister spoke of.
Not a christian life of wealth and superiority and being a member of the elite…but rather a life following Christ’s example of suffering and service and caring for the poor.
There was a minister, years ago now, that headed a denomination that I had been a part of for eighteen years.
This minister was beloved by many…but he was rather aloof towards me…at least for the few times that I attempted to form a relationship with him.
However, his sermons, at times, were inspiring and some of the best that I had heard…at that time.
I decided…so many years ago…that this minister’s effectiveness was not about me personally…but it was about the results that he achieved in his home church and throughout the denomination that I was a member of.
I have served as an elder in three different churches. I have worked closely with ministers throughout most of my life…even in the last few years.
Time and age and experience has taught me to look at the results that are being achieved in the church that I am attending.
How does the minister respond to the young and the elderly…are they at home and received with love and compassion?
What is the Message that the minister delivers…does it compel me to examine my christian life and my service to the poor and the homeless and those who are marginalized by our society?
Does my minister, consistently preach Christ’s message,,,and it is a hard to hear message…and it is a burdensome message…especially to the rich…?
‘It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.’ Mark 10:25 KJV
Does my minister’s message move me towards social justice and fighting for the little guy and gal…or does it make me feel secure in my own emotions and dreams and upper middle class comfort?
I had a friend tell me, again…many years ago, that Policemen…were just men…and that they had the human foibles that all men and women have.
Our christian message is impossible for we fallible humans to live in it’s perfection and totality.
The same challenge goes for our ministers…they are human and have feet of clay and trials and tribulations and challenges that are inherent in our human flesh and experience.
‘Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.’ Psalm 105:15 KJV
I have been privileged to observe my Pastor, Rev. Janice West, a she interacts with young people…and it is a delight to behold the light in their eyes as she communicates so effectively with them.
Often, after hearing one of Pastor West’s Sermons…I am, inspired to write a blog regarding her effective and timely call to help the helpless.
I used to preach funeral sermons…perhaps upwards of 25 or more…in a past life.
Pastor Janice…preaches the most thoughtful and personal and considerate funeral sermons that I have ever heard.
My Pastor has a lovely singing voice…she sings a prayer almost every Sunday…it causes me to want to pray.
‘And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? Matthew 11:7 KJV