Zebras at a Waterhole in Okaukejo, Etosha Pan, Namibia . PHOTO : J . Rieck

Friday, February 13, 2015

WHY I MUST PREACH ON SUNDAY ...and everyday !

I am sitting in my study preparing  for Sunday morning.  

We are currently  preaching through  Paul’s first letter  to the Thessalonian church. Our current morning sermon series  is  called  "Portrait of a God-centered  church".  

As  this  wonderful pastoral  letter moves  my soul, I am moved  to  think about the  state  of the church in the world. 

I am forced to  rethink and to  rehearse  and to consider  how we  may  rebuild our broken churches  upon  this  Thessalonian model,   in our own day when the church at large is anything but God centered.  

If anything,  the modern  church  has a tendency to be self -centered and man  centered. The Bible  and the  internet and  the  newspapers and my own experience  tells me so ! 

This problem is, of course  not unique to our own age,  for this has been the constant struggle  of the church ever since she was born  on the day of Pentecost. 

And I remember  that  the effects of sin  upon our world  have had a heavy toll upon us all.  The pull is ever  downward,  as indicated by  the law of gravitation. G = 9.8m/s. 

Things fall down, not up!  

The tendency is always towards decay, towards  disorder – towards a state of entropy   – as illustrated by the second law of thermodynamics [1].  

So too  it is with the church. 

One of my favorite poets is  T.S. Elliot[2]. He   has expressed  himself  in powerful poetry on the subject:

Of all that was done in the past, you eat the fruit, either rotten or ripe.
And the Church must be forever building 
And always decaying - and always being restored.

For every ill deed in the past we suffer the consequence: For sloth, for avarice, gluttony, neglect of the Word of God.
For pride, for lechery, treachery, for every act of sin.
And of all that was done that was good, you have the inheritance.
For good and ill deeds belong to a man alone, when he stands alone on the other side of death,
But here upon earth you have the reward of the good and ill that  was done by those who have gone before you.
And all that is ill you may repair if you walk together in humble repentance, expiating the sins of your fathers;  And all that was good you must fight to keep with hearts as devoted as those of your fathers who fought to gain it.

The Church must be forever building, for it is forever decaying within and attacked from without;

For this is the law of life; and you must remember that while there is time of prosperity
The people will neglect the Temple, and in time of adversity they will decry it.

T.S. Elliot  recognizes that the church is in need of constant reformation, for she is constantly subjected   to  sin and decay. 

Every generation must understand  this, and every generation of believers  must  rebuild her walls  which  are constantly being  assailed. 

We cannot  live on borrowed capital

A house lived in for along time must be renovated. 

We  cannot   presume that our fathers yesterday have done a good work. 

We  must work  today and  labour today   to maintain the faith  as it  was once   delivered  to us  by our Lord Jesus.

And that is why I must preach on Sunday, praying that the Word, the gospel will come  in power  and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction! (1 Thessalonians 1:5) 





[1] The Remarkable Birth of Planet Earth, by Henry Morris: (p. 14) All processes manifest a tendency toward decay and disintegration, with a net increase in what is called the entropy, or state of randomness or disorder, of the system. This is called the Second Law of Thermodynamics.Scientific Creationism, edited by Henry Morris:  (p.25) The Second Law (Law of Energy Decay) states that every system left to its own devices always tends to move from order to disorder, its energy tending to be transformed into lower levels of availability, finally reaching the state of complete randomness and unavailability for further work.

[2] T.S. Elliot : Chorus from the Rock 

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