I used to like Mondays. Monday used to be my day off. I would get up early and go to 6 AM morning prayer at the church. I would talk to my buddy for a while, then finally go home and go back to sleep. I would wake up some time in the afternoon, catch me a movie, and go the a book store. Those were the good old days. Now, I have to wake up on Monday mornings and hit the ground running. Because I preach on Wednesday nights now, I have to get going on Mondays to be ready for Wednesday nights. Likewise, staff meetings are now on Mondays. So I have to get Sunday out of my system and start prayerfully thinking about the next Sunday within twenty-four hours. I used to resign every Monday. Now, I have to renew my contract with the Lord every Monday, so I can be on good terms with the “Boss” and get done that he wants me to do each week. So here’s to all of you who drug yourself out of bed this morning to do the Lord’s will.
Yesterday was a long but good day. I was up tightening up my sermon from 1:30 AM to 8 AM. I couldn’t sleep. So I kept refining the manuscript (I am a manuscript preacher, sort of. I write them out word for word. But, most often, I don’t take them to the pulpit. I don’t quite memorize them, either. Somehow, I just kind of absorb the message in the process of writing, revising, and editing.) Thank God I didn’t have to teach Sunday School, too. I would have been in trouble. We celebrated Reformation Sunday, with elements of our service committed to remembering and affirming the 16th century Protestant Reformation. We even sang Luther’s hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is our God.” It’s different from the songs and hymns we normally sing. But it was great to hear the voices around me lifting praises to our God with the rich words of this hymn. It was also our new minister of music’s second Sunday. But the choir sounded great. And the songs selected seemed to fit right in, even though they were different in style from the hymns we sang. I continued my exposition of Colossians. I did 4:5-6 and called it “Evangelism as a Way of Life.” I tried to give two reasons why we should embrace evangelism as a way of life: (1) You walk is being watched (4:5); and your words are being heard (4:6). I think the congregation received it well. But all of that is a distant memory now. It’s Monday – time to go at it all over again!
The Most Important Commandment
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this:‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions. – Mark 12:28-34 Armies win…