Pastoring wasn’t my first occupation, and certainly wasn’t my first choice of careers. I had been working with horses at Bible camps and a guest ranch almost 10 years before a small country church in Golden Prairie, Saskatchewan took a huge leap of faith and hired me to be their new pastor. I hadn’t really preached a sermon before beginning there so you can imagine that weekly sermon prep was a real challenge. After we’d been there about six months my friend Greg suggested I’d been there long enough I could just start preaching the first ones over again since no one would remember what I’d said back then anyway.
I was reminded of that because sometimes I kinda feel like I’ve been preaching, not the same sermons, but undoubtedly a recurring theme. Regardless of what book in the Bible we are studying the theme of the centrality of Jesus to every detail of life keeps coming up; the awareness of his presence, his involvement and guiding, literally living his life through me, and developing within myself an increasing desire for him that supersedes every other desire.
I’ve occasionally wondered if some may be tiring of the message and maybe wished I would move on but think about it in this perspective. My newlywed son and daughter (in-law) stayed with us after their wedding for about three months until they left for a two year stint at a church in the Bahamas. (I still haven’t figured out how to get a gig like that!) Needless to say, during those three months there was a lot of smooches, and “I love you more” and other such silly goings on in our house. The cynic would say “give it a few months.” The cynic would be wrong. Five years later they’re still very much silly romantics.
The truth is there’s been a lot of that stuff going on in our house for the last 30 years. I never tire of hearing Wendy tell me she loves me or the hundreds of ways she shows it. I love hearing the special loon call on my phone (her ring tone) that tells me she was thinking of me and has sent me a message. And yes, I even do the silly emoticons with the hugs and kisses and nonsense. But if I were to tire of that I would have some serious concerns for my marriage.
The same is true with Jesus. To paraphrase of Lamentations 3:21-24, the love and mercy of God never gets old because he renews it every morning. And I’ll never tire of telling you about it.