FOR PASTORS, ON MONDAY
Serving the Lord will take the stuffing out of any shepherd. Humility, heartbreak, and the inward toll of devilish trials are not only hard, but they need to be experienced in full view of your people. Pastors must keep plenty of secrets but our weaknesses aren’t among them.
A young fellow came to our door the other day selling security systems, including a little camera allowing us to see who is at the door. No matter how good it is, there’s a threat that camera would miss. “Sin is crouching at your door,” God told Cain, with a warning that echoes down to us.
I confess that I always harbored the hope that one day, if we remained faithful, people would just start coming through our doors in bunches, wide-eyed, whispering, “Can it be true?!” We’d just stand back and be amazed. But when I came to retirement early this year that had never happened.
One effect of this long isolating season is that God’s people start to forget who they are when they can’t be together. Our identity is wrapped up in our Christian family. Churchless Christians develop a kind of spiritual dementia, an amnesia where they forget their identity.
This incredibly wealthy man, who clearly wanted the best of everything, required that his house be built from bricks of mud and straw, that the woodwork be of driftwood and salvaged lumber, that the carpets be of woven rags, and the windows crafted from broken glass.