3.) It was embarrassing for sure. But from what people talked about afterwards, I think the Word was preached clearly, illustrated effectively, and applied personally. I think Jesus exalted Himself, while at the same time humbling this preacher. Sometimes he does that to us, doesn’t He? Sometimes he likes to make Himself look good even at the expense of not allowing us to look so good. In other words, just what John the Baptist prayed, “He must increase but I must decrease.” I should not be bummed when God answers that prayer by increasing Himself but decreasing myself. Though I didn’t pray that specifically, I nevertheless I’m glad God will always do “His thing.”
Two Sundays ago I preached a sermon called “I get by with a little help from my friends.” I focused in on how much Paul, Ephaphroditus, Timothy, and the Philippians really needed each other. Today its no different; we still do need one another. And I didn’t mean to, but God actually used me to illustrate that point during this Sunday’s sermon “Who Let the Dog’s Out? (I’ve been trying to stick with song titles, though I’ve obviously varied the genre of music!).
I literally only “got by” with a little help from my friends. Since we meet in a movie theater, I heard some rumbling. I paused and said, “Is that from another theater or is it thundering outside?” Then I completely forgot where I was. Completely. So much so that I couldn’t go back to my notes (I really wasn’t following them anyway). I couldn’t move forward or backwards. My brain completely shut down. It’s a lonely feeling up there when you have no words to say. Lonely and scary for sure.
As much as I tried to get to the next point of application, I basically had nothing. So I asked my dear friend running the power point, “Mark, where was I?” He had nothing too. Finally, a woman yelled out, you said, “If we know more, we rejoice more!”
Then I was back up and running. I finished without much of a problem. I can’t describe to you the elation of her answer to my question.
I learned a few things:
1.) If my ADD wins, then I lose. I can’t respond to outside stimuli. And I have a history of it. Once during a beach wedding, I stopped the homily and said, “Oh cool, there’s a shark!” But I picked back up and didn’t miss a beat. I learned my lesson this time.
2.) People paying attention to the preached Word is not just important for them, its important for the preacher. But I hope to never have to “need” them to pay that much attention in the future.