“IF YOU CANNOT PREACH LIKE PAUL…”

“IF YOU CANNOT PREACH LIKE PAUL…”

The familiar old mission hymn, “Hark! The Voice of Jesus Crying,” recognizes that not every Christian is called into the public ministry of preaching and teaching the word of God.  That is more than OK. How could the gospel go forth to the work-a-day world without “the priesthood of all believers” telling others what they have heard from pulpits and classrooms?  

The hymn says:  “If you cannot preach like Paul, you can tell the love of Jesus; you can say He died for all.  If you cannot rouse the wicked with the Judgment’s dread alarms, you can lead the little children to the Savior’s waiting arms.”   There are more doing this than we sometimes assume. Not all do it the same way.  In quiet ways, known only to God, they already are the salt of the earth. What are just a few of the ways we are salt and light?  

  • Pray!  Pray each day for those are called to the public ministry. Pray for Christian pastors, teachers, missionaries, professors – that they may stay faithful to the pure Word of God, that God will grant His blessing to their labors and watch over them.  And pray the Lord of the harvest to send new workers into His harvest field.
  • Bring your children to God’s house.  Read Bible stories to them. Pray with them.  Talk about Christ with them. Make use of our Lutheran schools as handmaidens to the Christian home.  Give your kids a Christian home to come home to. Mission work starts at home.
  • Grow in your own relationship with God through regular, prayerful Bible reading, through regular attendance at God’s house, Holy Communion and Bible classes.  We cannot share what we ourselves do not know or love.
  • Offer encouragement to someone who is downhearted, guidance to someone who is confused, and yes, a loving rebuke to someone caught up in a sinful lifestyle.  Humbly point to the problem – sin – yours and theirs – and to the cure – Christ crucified and risen again.  No fancy words needed. Just the love to say something before that brother or sister, son or daughter, grandchild or neighbor dies in sin.
  • Leave a copy of Meditations in a waiting room or lobby somewhere.
  • Offer a ride to church to someone who has a hard time getting there.
  • Ask your unchurched neighbor or co-worker if they would like to come to church with you, or attend an adult instruction class with you, or if their kids would like to go to Sunday School with your kids. 
  • Support the going forth of the gospel with your offerings.
  • Put your life where your mouth is.  Live a Christian life.