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Backdraft Preaching

You've got to reignite the flames Sunday after Sunday

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I love preaching. I hate preaching. The best description is Jeremiah's: it is like fire in the bones. It is holy work and dreadful work. It exhausts and it exhilarates, kindles and consumes.

On Mondays, I am charred remains. The hotter I burned on Sunday—the more I preached with fiery conviction and bright hope—the more burned to the ground I am on Monday. I'm restless, but I don't have initiative to do anything or, if I do, the energy to sustain me in it. I'm bone-weary, suffering what the desert fathers called acedia: an inner deadness from the hot sun's scorching.

Worst of all, Monday is lived with the knowledge that I am called to do it all over again next Sunday. Mondays are the days I would rather sell shoes.

But then Sunday comes, and the bones burn again. I am once more a firebrand freshly hot in the hand of God. If I don't preach, I am left with an ache like sorrow. I chafe worse from not preaching than from preaching. "But if I say, 'I will not mention him or speak any ...

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Displaying 1–2 of 2 comments

Terry Sartain

April 29, 2014  10:25am

Very good. Wouldn't you know I read this on a Monday

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Lisa Skogsrud

May 12, 2011  4:38am

Thank you. That was beautiful and true and sad and hopeful and altogether satisfying to read.

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