Sun., July 1, 2018
1 Timothy 5:24a – Remember that some men, even pastors, lead sinful lives, and everyone knows it.
It was a gift, given out of love and admiration. It came with the warning that, “I may not want to wear it on Sunday mornings.”
After opening the package in the privacy of our home and discovering this t-shirt, I knew why the comment was shared. The family wanted me to know how much they appreciated me. I love them for this. But the words intimidated me. Even putting the t-shirt in the drawer with a bunch of other t-shirts felt uncomfortable.
One Sunday evening home alone, I found the courage to try it on. And quietly put it back into the drawer. I wasn’t sure it would ever see the light of day again.
While packing for last week’s mission trip, the t-shirt became part of a pile I grabbed from the drawer. I held it in my hands. Should I take it? Should I not take it? What to do? With enough room in my suitcase, it found a small private corner for the journey.
I was slated to give the Tuesday night message during worship. As I changed out of my painting clothes, I handled the t-shirt again. Should I wear it? Should I not wear it? What to do? A female chaperone noticed the message and chuckled. With her encouragement, I bravely put it on.
When I walked into the room where everyone was eating dinner, I felt a spotlight shining on me. Was I confident enough to wear such a bold statement? My mind did a quick mental back-and-forth teeter-totter. I remember the evening’s intention and I decided to own it.
During the message, I correlated faith to an EKG line: sometimes the line goes up, sometimes the line goes down. A flat line isn’t good news.
Personal faith journeys are the same. Sometimes we feel closer to God. Sometimes God feels very far away. When our faith journey is flat, we are in big trouble.
As a pastor, I have had the awesome opportunity to witness people at the peak of their spiritual journeys. Unfortunately, I have observed people who feel God let them down. While I can hold hand of a person who feels abandoned by God, I can never be God.
My message to the teens: I am not the world’s best pastor. My sinful nature won’t allow this. Only Jesus can fill this role. As God’s perfect Son, this is a role only He can fill. My prayer is for these teens to discover Jesus as their best pastor.
It is important for us to have a community where we can go when our spiritual journeys are below the flat line. It is necessary for people to pray and encourage us when we struggle with faith. When this happens, I pray Jesus is our part back-up plan. Christ wants to be your best pastor. He yearns to have you crawl into his well-used arms and find comfort and peace. With you, Christ anticipates the day when your spiritual journey will grow again.
My role is to point people to the world’s best pastor. Jesus thanks for being the world’s best pastor. For this I am grateful.
Jesus – it’s the most difficult role in the world. And thank you, for accepting this daunting, difficult and demanding role. Please be patient with me when I struggle with faith and forget to seek you as my best pastor. Amen.
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