It’s that time of year again! The time where we were required to be thankful, and then spent the next several days buying more junk. The time where we hop from house to house proving that Christmas is about anything but Christ. The time of year when churches cancel services, and when they dare throw God a bone by not canceling, they substitute the preached Word for something far inferior. The church gathered for worship can do no better than the preached Word.
“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21) The church, for some reason, thinks that it has matured beyond preaching. Maybe they think they’ve heard enough. Maybe they can’t stand preaching, but manage to tolerate it. We may not be pleased with preaching, but the testimony of God’s Word is that He is pleased with preaching. Preaching is the way His Word is manifested (Titus 1:3). But isn’t this the time for cantatas, plays, programs, and church cancelations? Oh how far the modern church has wandered! I am not suggesting that any of these things are evil within themselves; however, they are a poor substitute for the preached Word of God.
You may be thinking: “This fellow is a preacher, of course he cares about nothing but preaching!” I do not take lightly the calling to stand behind the Sacred Desk. John Knox mentioned that he was never scared of the devil, but that he “trembled every time he entered the pulpit.” Preaching, when done right, means the courage of the man of God preaching the convicting Word of God to the people of God. Paul admitted that preaching was foolish in the eyes of the world, and sadly today it is seen as foolishness in the eyes of the “churches”. We tend to dress up our children in costumes, and forget that Christ clothed Himself with flesh and dwelt among us. We tend to decorate the tree and forget that Christ humbled Himself. We tend to wrap presents and not be present at church.
This is the time of the year when we celebrate the Savior’s birth. Mark mentions Jesus began preaching as soon as He came out from His temptation in the wilderness (Mark 1:14-15). Preaching was a priority for Jesus. Preaching was a priority for the early church. Have you every noticed all the sermons in the Gospels and Acts? Preaching always has been a priority of the church, but for some reason we’ve had our fill of the Bible. Dare to be absent from you ball games! Dare to be vacate from a family gathering if they can’t honor the fact that church is a priority for you! What I’m suggesting may sound foolish, but I assure you it is biblical. Would you join me this season and flock to the foolishness of preaching? After all, “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). If I’m a fool for preaching then so be it. Would you be a fool and come listen to a fool? We shall be “fools for Christ sake”! (1 Corinthians 4:10).