Serving the Lord in the Pastoral ministry has some wonderful moments. Last night I had the privilige to once again be the officant at a wedding. The joy of leading two young people at the moment of their wedding vows is truly a great thrill. Peyton Pritchett and Kay Stafford became a family late yesterday afternoon. There were beautiful laides in very pretty dresses, handsome young men who cleaned up very well, flowers, rings, cakes, good food and of course a preacher. After all what is a wedding without a preacher.
But the reality is I am only the preacher. I was there to lead the ceremony, but the event was not about me. Anyone could lead the ceremony. A wedding is a huge event and no doubt it is all about the bride and groom. It is about the life they are starting together. The ceremony was short just 15 or 20 minutes of their lives spent in the wedding ceremony, but the intent of coming to that moment and making the vows changes both of their lives forever. What a privilege was mine tho help them along this path of life. Of course I never perform a wedding without counseling a couple to make sure of their faith in God. There would be no reason to have a Christian wedding if there is no faith in the Lord. If either the couple did not believe in Jesus Christ as Savior then I will not marry the couple.So their was preparation and a great deal of it to get to this wonderful moment.
In truth the same thing is true for me every Sunday as I stand to preach. I am just the preacher. The event of worship is not about how good or how bad the sermon is today. The preacher or teacher in Sunday School is just the person who speaks. The evnet of worship is about you and God. If you go to church with no desire to worship the Lord, then it is unlikely you will worship. If you go in with a bad attitude you will find it is easy to maintain a bad attitude throughout the service.There is preparation before worship. Knowing Christ and getting ready to worship Him is extremely important.
The young couple last night were surely not dependent on me for the results of event. No they got married. Likewise my performance in the ceremony did not influnce the outcome of the lives together as a husband and wife. That depends on them of course as they live together and make a home. You are not dependant on a preacher for worship. You should be focusing on God each time you go to church. The sermon I preach today should not be the determining factor in how you live before God. You are responsible before God to live for Him each day.
Now do not misunderstand me, what is a wedding without a preacher? And what is a church service without a sermon, and you need a preacher for both of these times. But just as the life of the couple is not going to be dependant on the preacher to change the couples life in their marriage, neither are you dependent on a preacher to live out your life in Christ. In other words it is the message that is important not the messanger.
It is all important that a preacher be prepared and preach good sermons with great content and good illunstrations. But the reality is that the results are left up to each person who hears the Word of God and then must decide for themselves as tho how they will respond to the message. I am just the peracher, preaching the Word of God. What a privilge.