Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Gospel lesson for this week presents several really sticky obstacles for making it into a really great sermon. It is so loaded with significant elements that it is difficult to pick a single focus. It seems to pick just one would be to ignore all the other fine things that Matthew is doing with this passage. How do you pick just one gem from a table full of diamonds?

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Writer’s block is an odd thing. The muse comes and goes as she pleases, and I can’t control her whims. So now that I need to write, have deadlines to write once again, I can’t seem to get it going. Maybe a bit of blogging can call her back . . . we’ll see.

Monday, January 03, 2005

“But even if today is a bad day, I’m still moving forward. Even if I feel like I can’t handle one single more thing, even if I feel like I can’t even handle the stuff I’ve got going on now, even if I feel like I’m just not the guy for the job (ANY job!) . . . I’m still moving forward. I’ve got a task to do, and it’s not my strength or might or wisdom or spirituality or anything that will get it done. It’s not as though I have to like myself all the time, because frankly I’m not really likeable all the time. It’s not as though I have to be on top of things all the time, because frankly I get swamped. It’s enough for me to know today, right now, that God is working in me, through me, and for me. I can live with that.”

Odd. That was just a few blogs ago, but I had forgotten I wrote it. Boy, I needed that reminder today.Strangely enough, today was the first time I recall feeling an actual pastoral burden. It’s possible I’ve felt it before . . . maybe today was just the first time I realized something new about it. I realized today that, as a pastor, you do carry other’s burdens--it’s part of the job. What do you do when you can’t fix someone else, can’t touch their pains, can’t settle their minds . . . you keep feeling it for them, even after you leave their home or they leave your office. And soon you’re not only carrying your own weight of sorrows, cares, and concerns, but the sorrows, cares, and concerns of dozens--perhaps tens of dozens--of people. That type of weight could snap a strong man’s back like a dry twig under the tread of a soldier’s boot . . . and yet the pastor carries it.I realized how the burden of caring could eat you alive, if you let it. The care of souls is a weighty task, indeed.