October 30, 2015
I hated missing church on Sunday. For those of you who weren’t able to make it on Sunday – neither did I. I got sick on Saturday and wasn’t capable of preaching that next morning. Scott and Robert did a fantastic job of starting us off on our new series Legacy. I was able to stream the services and that was an amazing gift. The reason I hated missing church is that it orients my week. Being your pastor (and particularly preaching on Sunday mornings) is one of the favorite parts of my life.
I love preaching the gospel – the message of Jesus and his resurrection means that we are offered salvation and hope in this life and the next. It is good news every single time I have the privilege to stand up to tell it. I look forward to every Sunday that I get to preach because this story changes lives for the rest of eternity.
This is the message that we are trying to get across in this series – the legacy we leave lasts an eternity. We can point people to God and move them towards heaven, or we can try to drag them down to hell with us. C.S. Lewis has a great essay about this in The Weight of Glory. Basically he says that when we have the full view of heaven and hell, we will realize that it was in our power to either be fully like Christ in heaven or like wretched self-consumed creatures in hell. And he ends his essay with this:
“It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbor. The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbor’s glory should be laid daily on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken.
It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare.
All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.”
For those of us who know God and are called to share the love of God, it means that in all times and in all places we are called to do whatever it takes for our neighbor. As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:15, “ I will most gladly spend and be spent for you.” Or as the founder of Methodism, John Wesley, put it to the Methodists, “You have nothing to do but to save souls; therefore spend and be spent in this work.”
The truth, though, is that this is more than a message for preachers. This is more than a message for people who work in a church. This is a message for all of us at all times. Every moment is a chance to impact somebody. Every moment is a chance to leave God’s legacy on everyone you meet.