Heart Prep for Sunday, October 6th
In preaching, some of the best advice is to keep the main point of the passage as the main point of the sermon. This is great advice because there so such a depth to the Scriptures. There are books galore that go into meticulous and interesting detail about each verse, or even word, of the text. It’s easy to miss the forest for the trees when preparing for a sermon. And that advice would have been appropriate for the Pharisees in the passage that we have this week. We’re in Mark 2:23-3:6.
As we look at the disputes between the Pharisees and Jesus, it’s clear that the Pharisees are missing the forest for the trees. They’re so locked in on identifying and obeying each and every one of God’s laws down to the letter that they miss the purpose and blessing of the Law completely. And we are much the same way. How many times have I been so locked into a task at home that I miss the point of it? For instance, I’m trying to get the laundry done so my kids can have clean clothes. But, in the process of getting all the loose articles of clothing strewn around the house (because toddlers), I get super frustrated at my son because he keeps getting in my way, whining about who knows what! Why can’t he just let me clean his clothes for him?!
In my best moments, I remember that I’m doing laundry, making food, reading books, and enduring screaming because I love him. That truth enables me to calm down, slow down, and not get so frustrated because I’m seeing the task in the context of him. But usually, I can’t get past the task, past the screaming and crying, and past my own commitment to doing what I want, to get to the blessing it is to be Nathaniel and Abigail’s dad. And that’s what we’re looking at this week. We’re looking to see the Pharisee in ourselves, to stop and look for the blessing of the forest, and to enjoy being with the one who is the Lord of the Sabbath, the Lord of Rest. Maybe then we can rest and recover from the burnout that we so often feel. See you Sunday!