Preacher's Confession: Reading Fast
It seems that every time I preach, I feel the need to confess something in the hours leading up to it. Here's my confession this week. I find that there are certain parts of the Bible that I read fast. Or that I just try not to understand because I'm fearful of the ramifications. But I've also discovered that those are the places that are most important for me to stop and explore. The hard sayings. The scary concepts. The places where God's actions and character don't seem to line up with the image of God that I have constructed in my head.
I've discovered that anything having to do with God's wrath or jealousy makes me want to speed up the reading. So I wasn't too thrilled when I felt that familiar Spirit nudge to preach on "Jealous" this week as part of our "God is..." series. In the movie Luther, a wise monk said, "we preach best that which we most need to learn." Whether that's true or not, I've leaned on it many times.
A couple things I'm wrestling with.
When I'm tempted to read fast or not even try to process something in Scripture, that's where I need to slow down and dig in.
When God's actions and character as revealed in Scripture don't seem to match with the image of God I've constructed in my head, then I'm not worshiping God but an idol of my own making. And that's why God is jealous-- He and only He is worthy of praise-- the appropriate praise-- and he will not share it with others. So, when I hit those places in Scripture, I need to slow down to make sure that my worship is not misplaced, and so I can come to a better understanding of who God is. Worship God. Not the god you think should be.