Thursday, January 27, 2011
When I arrived at the Blakely UMC in Blakely, Ga. for my second summer of youth ministry in that church, a new pastor was waiting. As he started his preaching ministry, it seemed that he preached only stewardship sermons. I thought it odd. He explained by telling me a story of a preacher who went to a new church and preached the very same sermon again and again and again. Finally, someone asked if he had another sermon. As the story goes the preacher said, "When you act like you have heard the first one, I will preach another!"
Recently, I have been reading the Old Testament book of Ezekiel. Actually, I should say I have been trying to read it. There are times when it seems that the Spirit directs us to certain parts of the Word and this has been one such time. My problem in reading it has not been in figuring out all the visions of this prophet. To be honest is to admit I have gotten no further than the first three verses. While I have heard some of what I sense to be the Word of Lord for my life in this passage, I still find no freedom to move on to what follows. Over and over I find myself reading these few Words with a feeling that I have not gotten it yet.
There are things about it which seem rather obvious, but I continue to be led back to it in a way that tells me there is still something more. So, I stay in place, reading and praying and waiting. Maybe I will end up discovering it is not the book of Ezekiel to which I have been led, but to those first three verses which appear to be nothing than the introduction of the prophet.