January 20

Psalm 19:7-14

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” vs. 14

These words from our psalmist will resonate with any faithful preacher called to proclaim the gospel to any gathered assembly, whether on Zoom or in person. The psalmist had listened to the words of creation and studied the Law with conviction, and he knew that what he had learned would have great value to others. It was likely the most important teaching they would ever receive! But he knew himself well–he had hidden faults and, despite his desire to be blameless, he could make errors. He could mislead those who had put their trust in him–but even scarier to him was the possibility that God would not be pleased with his words. And so preachers continue to say this prayer as they step into the pulpit, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord…” They know that sometimes their congregations won’t like what they say–that happens for every preacher as they “comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable,” and yes, sometimes they do say stupid stuff. But their higher calling is to the Gospel of Christ and they deeply desire the guidance of the Spirit. And so every Sunday they pray that their words will flow out of that good news, and that the Spirit has been involved. And sometimes, even when they mess up, the Spirit intrudes, and the Word is heard!

Thought for the Day: How do I react when sermons are offensive to me?

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