Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool.
– Ecclesiastes 5:2-3
I heard something on Easter Sunday that I have never heard. It proves that our pastor has great wisdom.
My brother passed away seven years ago this month. He was a minister. One of his favorite jokes was, “I have been very busy all week. I didn’t have time to write a short sermon.”
There is wisdom in the joke. I am sure other bloggers know the feeling. You bring up a subject in your mind to talk about and everything that you know about the subject comes in an avalanche of ideas. You put the pieces together so that they make sense. Then you go through the topic as if it were a sermon. You realize that what you have before you takes hours to talk about. I am sure that is where the birth of a series of sermons on a single topic originally came from. Then you start cutting back to the essentials.
If you have written an essay, blog, letter to a friend, etc., have you ever gotten to the point when you wrote a sentence that sums everything up so well that it simply ends the discussion on that topic?
I have written some endings that I thought were endings, but I still had things to say. I ruined the great ending by continuing to write.
This past Sunday on Easter morning, our pastor talked about what both Martha and Mary said to Jesus when He arrived in Bethany, too late to heal Lazarus. They each said, “If only…” Jesus was too late. Lazarus was dead. Jesus wept. The pastor talked about the ‘shortest verse’ in the Bible being the longest. “Jesus wept” spoke volumes about the character of Jesus. He went on to talk about Lazarus being raised from the dead and the religious leaders plotting to kill Jesus. He talked about the arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection of our Lord.
Then after a beautiful ending that tied everything together, tying the “If onlies…” of our lives with the power of the resurrected Lord and resurrecting Lord, meaning He is still at work resurrecting us into a new life.
Then he showed great wisdom and said something that I have never heard from the pulpit.
“Ummm…. I have a few more notes. … But no… Amen and Amen (His signature ending to all sermons). Will you all bow your heads in prayer.”
Soli Deo Gloria. Glory to God Alone.