I don’t usually ask for prayers for myself, but today is an exception. And, really, it is not for myself.
Our pastor raced to Connecticut to be with his daughter as she delivered her second child … leaving the pulpit empty this week. We had planned to have me fill the pulpit next week, but you can’t argue with God’s timing.
So, it appears I’ll be leading worship this Sunday instead of next Sunday.
My prayer request is the same as the psalmist, May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:4).
When I was first approached about filling in, I decided to talk on “Getting into Heaven.” I had about three quarters of it written before I bothered to look at the Scripture readings for the week [actually next week, Aug. 18] — Isaiah 5:1-7, Hebrews 11:29-12:2, Luke 12:49-56. They don’t exactly blend into the storyline I envisioned. In fact, Isaiah talks about bad fruit in the vineyard; Hebrews, while a little more inspiring, includes the words …Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated — the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised … (16-39); and Luke talks of division. Who likes to hear I came to cast fire on the earth … or Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!
So the challenge was integrating the message into the readings. May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
That’s why, my friends, I need your prayers. Pray that the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart are indeed pleasing in His sight.
If you happen to be in the Finger Lakes area of New York, I welcome you to join me at 9 a.m. at West Fayette Presbyterian Church, on Route 336 just east of Route 96A and a few miles south of Geneva and north of Sampson State Park. I invite you not to listen to the guy in the pulpit, but to enjoy the fellowship of the little church with the big heart.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: It would be better to marry for good than for better or worse.