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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: At the Pulpit (11/15/07)

TITLE: The Dream Sermon
By Johnna Stein
11/18/07


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Matt felt a strange elusive confidence as he strode towards the pulpit this Sunday morning. The normal dread and anxiety that plagued him before each sermon he’d ever preached in his short career were noticeably absent today. As he approached the pulpit, he actually felt a sense of excitement and anticipation.

His congregation sat poised, quietly awaiting the rest of the comfortable routine they had come to know and enjoy. The shuffling of bulletins and shushing of children could faintly be heard in the background as their preacher opened his Bible.

Matt cleared his throat, drew a deep breath and faithfully prayed aloud the words he’d been taught by his father to use before each sermon,

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Amen.”

As he began to speak on the passage about the sinful woman who had cleansed Jesus’ feet with her loving tears and wiped them clean with her beautiful long hair, the words seemed to glide so freely and easily from his mouth. He himself became enthralled with the story he was telling. He could vividly picture the compassion Jesus showed for this woman whose sins were many. He became overwhelmed by the magnitude of God’s mercy and forgiveness and tears began to stream down his cheeks as he continued to preach.

Suddenly, he felt compelled to kneel down at the altar. In the recesses of his mind he was wondering what his rather conservative congregation would think of this bold move. However, the power and the pull to go to his knees was overwhelming and he could no longer resist. Down he went and the thoughts of others’ opinions became obsolete. In complete surrender to Jesus, he continued to speak and as he looked out over these people, he had compassion for his lost and hurting flock. The loving words he spoke were not his own, for it was as if he were also speaking them into his own life.

Slowly, one by one, many of them humbly moved toward the altar. Heads bowed and dropping to their knees, Matt recognized many of the tear streaked repentant faces. A holy hush had enveloped the sanctuary and the thick presence of God’s Spirit hung in the air. Although he wasn’t sure he could handle any more, Matt began to silently pray, “More. More. More of you, God.”

A deep note from the organ sounded followed by several more incongruent chords. Why in the world was Agnes playing the organ during our contemporary service Matt wondered. The droning of the organ continued until Matt was fully awakened to the loud buzzing of his alarm clock. His right arm made the practiced swoop to hit the snooze button.

Then, it hit him. He was wide awake and yet still feeling the effects of the presence of God from that awesome dream. As he brushed back a lock of hair from his forehead, he felt the wetness from recent tears. He lay there some time just drinking in the memory of the vivid experience.

That Sunday morning as he approached the pulpit, he felt a strange elusive confidence…


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This article has been read 479 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynne Drake11/24/07
I so enjoyed The Dream Sermon! I could see it all, feel the tension, the heartache at the altar, the bent knees, tear-stained faces.

Just as I neared the end, I started to wonder....?

Laughed loudly at the twist, but felt so excited about next week's delivery of a Dream Sermon!

Lynne

Joanne Sher 11/24/07
Very creative entry. Great descriptions. Enjoyed this very much.
Patricia Todd11/24/07
Great writing. Quite out of the ordinary.
Elisheva Hartley11/24/07
Excellent article and I just loved it - very well written indeed
Lynda Brimer11/25/07
I so much enjoyed this article. I have experienced praising God while sleeping, and awakened feeling so refreshed the next morning.