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Speaking from My Holy of Holies (part 1)

How all-too-human preachers can prepare their souls to preach.

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A good friend from the Pentecostal tradition, in which people will often stand up and speak very authoritatively to the congregation, told me a glorious story. According to my friend, a man once stood up and declared, "Thus saith the Lord: Even as I was with Abraham when he led the children of Israel through the wilderness, so I will be with you." Then he sat down.

His wife nudged him and whispered something. He quickly stood back up and said, "Thus saith the Lord: I was mistaken. It was Moses."

That story captures the mystery of preaching, illustrating both the Word part and the flesh part: "Thus saith the Lord, I was mistaken." Preaching involves  the very words of God coming through human instruments—you and me. What an odd combination that is!

How do we prepare our souls for this task? We are fallible people, yet we are to speak for God, so our preparation is not just getting our spiritual life "amped up" for a weekend service. It is a way of life: "What kind of person am I becoming ...

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