Tuesday, July 20, 2010

GIVE TONGUES OF FIRE

These days, I spend vast amounts of time doing many things other than preaching.

I attend to diversifying resource development for a faith-based organization.  I help a nonprofit think and plan strategically.  I speak and act on behalf of the poorest kids in the world in an attempt to influence people to partner for their future.  Toward this same end, I invest some effort in online social networking.  I craft newsletters.  I write copy for magazines and e-journals.  I manage and update databases.  I design promotional pieces.  I relate with folks at various levels in a global mission-focused organization.  I contribute in meeting upon meeting that indirectly relate to this primary work.  I prepare to teach graduate-level classroom and online courses.  I staff conferences.


I am not, however, preaching.  Not in any formal, usual, typical sense of that word.  For this chapter of my life--however short or long--my preaching takes other forms.  I do not know if I will ever again stand behind a pulpit or in the place of a pastor.  It may be that I am never again so privileged (I hope I AM so privileged!).

However, God forbid that "the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart" would flow out of anything other than my sense of a calling to bear, to proclaim, to reflect--to in some way be--Good News to the glory of God.

A prayer: may the same learning, insight and breakthrough that I experienced as I read and studied in preparation for preaching be at work in my daily thinking and writing and relating.  May the same urgency and passion I felt as I crafted sermons and shared in the pulpit coarse through me as I labor to connect children to local and global partners.  May my life and words and work somehow be a testimony to the redeeming, reconciling, overcoming grace of God to all.

This week, I recalled an old ordination hymn that was first quoted to me by Millard Reed.  I found the full text, though I still have not sourced its author.  I make this my prayer for today:

From ivied walls above the town
   the prophets' school is looking down,
And listening to the human din
   from marts and streets and homes of men:
As Jesus viewed with yearning deep,
   Jerusalem from Olive's steep,
O, crucified and risen Lord,
   Give tongues of fire to preach thy Word.

O Son of man, O Son of God!
   Whose love bought all men by His blood,
Give us thy mind, thy soul's desire,
   Thy heart of love, thy tongue of fire
That we thy gospel may proclaim
   to every man in thy great name!
O, crucified and risen Lord,
   Give tongues of fire to preach thy Word.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the post. It makes me think of being called, as I once felt I was, and still feel that I am in some way.

    As for your meaningful verses, they didn't google well! And Frances Shaffer didn't cite them either! It's a mystery...

    Blessings to you :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous4:08 PM

    Probably this one... http://www.hymnary.org/text/from_ivied_walls_above_the_town

    ReplyDelete
  3. Francis Schaeffer did cite them in No Little People.

    ReplyDelete

Your tasteful comments and/or questions are welcome. Posts are moderated only to reduce a few instances of incivility.