When I practice my sermons, I sometimes pull up a chair right in front of me.
I picture the 15 year old kid whose parents are divorced and who wants to kill himself everyday and hates everyone at school.
I picture the single mom who lost custody of her children because she can’t hold down a job in this economy and drinks herself to sleep every night.
I picture the hard-hearted religious hypocrite who sings loudly every Sunday at his church but goes home to beat his kids.
I think of my future wife, my future children, I think of the historical figures in the Bible sitting there hearing my preaching.
I’m not about to yell in someone’s face who has real issues that need real help.
It’s great to sound passionate. But what does real passion sound like?
It sounds like a man nailed to a cross whispering forgiveness over his own murderers. It sounds like a man raised to life calling for the disciple who betrayed him so he could reinstate him back to fruitful ministry. It sounds like Jesus weeping over Jerusalem, angry at a temple for turning God’s house into a consumer’s playground, raising a young girl to life with the words, “It’s time to wake up now, honey.”
I’m fine with loud preaching, but what are we loud about?