It’s 4:05 Texas time Monday afternoon and I’m just now taking a breath for the first time since we got home from St. Louis early Saturday morning. It’s great to be home.
It was good to be gone, but it’s great to be home.
All day Saturday was spent doing laundry and packing and buying things Whitney and Valerie needed for Kingdom Camp at Three Mountain. Sunday we worshiped at Legacy and I didn’t preach. I actually sat in the middle of the pew, not on the aisle. And we left after Bible class, before second service to take the kids to camp. How strange. Can I leave with another worship assembly to go? Is it possible that this body of believers can function without me? Don’t I need to be organizing something or coordinating with someone? Can all of this still happen if I’m not in there?
They did very very well for 48 years before I got here. And they’re going to do very very well for 48 more years and beyond after I leave.
For one thing, this church family is full of capable proclaimers of the Gospel. Jim preached for us yesterday. And while our personalities and delivery styles couldn’t be much more different, I could sense Jim connecting with people all around me while he preached. It could have been John or J or Mark or either of a couple of Jacks. The important thing—the obvious thing—is that our God takes his Word and he places it into the hearts of his people when they come together to hear it proclaimed. His Word is powerful. It impacts everyone who hears it and it changes everyone who obeys it. And I’m humbled and I’m blessed to be able to preach it on a regular basis.
And, I missed it.
I missed not preaching to the Legacy family yesterday. I’ve come to love preaching God’s Word, much more so than I realized I might. I missed discovering the voice of God in our Scriptures and working all week on the best ways to communicate that message to his people. I missed seeing the nods of understanding and hearing the “amens” from my brothers and sisters as they affirm our sermon, our message. I missed the butterflies—no! much more than that—the sheer feelings of inadequacy and near panic as we sing that song before the sermon and I realize I’m about to address hundreds of God’s people and speak to them from God’s Holy Scriptures some word of grace or love or caution or warning or salvation or mercy that will spur them on to walk the rest of the week faithfully with our Lord. I missed the adrenaline rush (I’m being honest here) of taking my eyes off my Bible and my notes long enough to pour my heart out to my church family. I missed the urgency of preaching the Good News. The importance of proclaiming the Word. The absurdity of my great and magnificent God using me in all of my insignificance and shortcomings to partner with him in redeeming this lost world.
I missed it.
We didn’t get back from Three Mountain until late last night. Today has been filled with answering all the emails, writing all the letters, returning all the phone calls, and taking care of all the things that didn’t take care of themselves while we were in St. Louis.
And now, I think, I’m caught up. It’s almost 4:30. The offices are all empty here at Legacy. It’s just me. And now I’m about to dive back into the Word.
And I can’t wait ’til Sunday.