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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: At the Pulpit (11/15/07)

TITLE: Meet Me Every Sunday
By Kenneth Bridge


He stared out the glass doors leading to the parking lot and saw them coming, Bibles in hand and smiles on their faces, and felt despair in the pit of his stomach. There was something about their hopeful expectancy that carried them toward the sanctuary, their evident eagerness to hear the Word of God broken for them, that filled him with dread.

It isnít fair to them, Lord, that I havenít any Word for them this morning.

He was weary, but forced a smile as Dave greeted him. Dave, a serious student of the Bible, began coming to the church when his daughter started coming to the youth group on Wednesday nights, and liked what he found there. But that was when there had been time for prayer and study and preparation. Now, with his wife not working in anticipation of their first child, he was stretched thin with working nights outside the church. Wearying rounds through a labyrinth of machinery, swiping his device at the checkpoints every hour, filled his nights. Each morning he fought to remain awake as he drove against the morning rush hour traffic, rolling the window down to let in the rushing cold winter air. He sometimes found himself shouting aloud in his car to keep from surrendering to the need for sleep before he could get home and into bed.

But sleep came hard once he crawled into bed, the daylight prying loose the corners of pulled shades, the daytime sounds of traffic, slamming doors and shouting voices in the apartment building robbed him of much needed rest.

There was so little time and so little energy. Prayer took place while driving to work, sermon preparation in his head as he walked his rounds. There were still people to visit, family crises to mediate, church business that demanded time and attention. Some weeks he was so pulled apart by the responsibilities of home and the pastorate he felt he had nothing to give. ďThe teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of God,Ē Jesus was recorded as saying in Matthew 13, ďis like the owner of a house who brings out of his storerooms new treasures as well as old.Ē On Sunday mornings like this his storerooms seemed bare except for a few moldy and dust covered relics.

He continued to force a smile as he greeted Grandma Storey, saved over sixty years ago in a sod house in Nebraska, who read her Bible once through each year since. What Word did he have for her this day, what fresh revelation and application of Eternal Truth?

He prayed the opening benediction and began rehearsing his thoughts as music and praise filled the sanctuary. He quickly surrendered to the worship and felt his burdens melt away as praise filled the morning. Soon it was time for him to open the Bible and begin to expose Godís Word. As he began to share he felt conviction of the truth and worthiness of Godís Word begin to pour out like anointing oil. Fresh applications and imagery came to him, Godís Word was penetrating. He concluded with an altar call, and many at the congregation responded with broken hearts and deep dedication.

Thank you Lord, for meeting me here again this Sunday.

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This article has been read 736 times
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Laury Hubrich 11/23/07
This is a very honest account of an overly stretched minister. I could really feel his fatigue and his frustration. Thank you for sharing.
Dee Yoder 11/27/07
The congregation and the pastor could see eye to eye on the fatigue factor, I would guess! Too many times we're exhausted by our frantic living pace, and it's so refreshing to have the Lord greet us and restore our spirits.
Beth LaBuff 11/27/07
Beautiful portrait of the power of the Word of God. Excellent portrayal of the Pastor. Great writing!
william price11/27/07
Very, very real. Excellent job. God bless.
LauraLee Shaw11/28/07
As a best friend of a pastor's wife, I can tell you that this is more real than not. Thank you for bringing out this point of view.
Lynda Lee Schab 11/28/07
Great writing! You put me right inside the pastor's mind. And I have a feeling more pastors than not experience similar feelings every Sunday morning. Well done!
Jan Ackerson 11/28/07
Oh, I love this! Such a real character, and it's beautiful how the Lord always comes through, even at the last second. I like the old dear who reads through her Bible every year, too.
Temple Miller11/28/07
I loved your analogy of the faithfulness of God and faithfulness of a man of God.
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/28/07
I love your portrayal of a pastor, fatigued by extra work and extra cares, still annointed to give God's Word to his people.
LaNaye Perkins11/28/07
You did an awesome job of describing this overworked minister. Your story held me captive all the way through. Well done!
Betty Castleberry11/28/07
I could feel the weariness of this pastor. Your story relayed some real feelings. Nicely done.