It was this past Wednesday at about 3:30 pm when my lead pastor texted me asking me for Sunday’s sermon title and text. I thought he was joking. I immediately broke out into a cold sweat as I didn’t have this Sunday in my calendar. I was caught off guard, and if you know me, you know that I like lots of lead time for things and I seldom forget something as big as a teaching/preaching opportunity.
As my initial anxiety gave way to the realization that I was scheduled to preach, I began to remind myself that God has gifted me for this and I can trust his faithfulness. God’s not surprised this was on the schedule, even if I was. My lead graciously offered to take it if I felt I couldn’t, but I knew it was not right to put this back to him.
Later that night, while sharing with a friend, she asks me: Where do you get your sermon ideas?
My first response was that I pray. I pray and ask God what his people need to hear, what matters most, right now. Then I begin to look at what I’m studying and have recently reviewed. In addition to that, I listen. I listen to what I hear people pondering or questioning. But what happened next for me is a first, at least a first that I can recall of this nature.
Early Thursday morning, my husband (who heard the story of my dropped ball the day before), while doublechecking something on our home calendar, says to me: It’s Communion Sunday for us the Sunday after your message. Why don’t you get us ready?
The moment those words came from his lips, they hit my heart with divine impact. I knew that I was in a holy moment with my husband. God was using this man to speak to me that God wanted me to know for his people, of which my husband is one.
A pastors job, or at least one of them, is to prepare people for what’s coming. Sometimes that’s the immediate future, and sometimes it’s in the distant future or a day that we don’t know exactly when it will come; we only know it’s coming.
So, I’m preparing a message titled: Examine Yourself. It’s based on 1 Corinthians 11:23 which says:
“Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.” (1 Corinthians 11:28, NIV)
I’ll be sharing it this Sunday, and you can watch it live at 10:30 am (CST) here.
But for those of you teachers/preachers out there, where do you get your sermon ideas?