Saturday, May 17, 2008
Once again, into the breach
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,
Or close the wall up with our English dead!
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger:
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood.
"Henry V" (5.3.44-51)
I do love Henry V. There's something about what Shakespeare portrays in that play of commitment lived out with passion, and men fighting for something bigger than themselves that has always reminded me of the job Christian leaders have for even greater stakes than a country's fortunes in war.
I'm about through with the powerpoint for tomorrow now. I'm an endless tinkerer and editor right up to the end, so that's not unusual. But for two weeks in a row, the work I did during the week on the next sermon in the "Blind Spots" series was put aside in favor of another more pressing need. Some things are happening in our association as well as in our area that could take our eyes off the path God has placed us on.
Friends, vision leaks.
Over time, regardless of how great your church began, even regardless of what you're doing, the reason you are doing those things begins to fade away. That doesn't mean that people stop caring, stop loving, stop serving. But what it does mean is that they begin to lose sight of the reason they are doing those things. And from time to time enough of them lose sight to cause a real breakdown if a decision needs to be made about the next step to take.
In those times, operating in rote muscle memory won't cut it.
This is one of those times.
So I'll be preaching tomorrow through the vision God gave us for the group of Christ-followers known to the world as New Hope. I am not using "us" in a Queen Elizabeth sort of way where "we" really means "me". What we are and what we hope to be has been forged together with the core of people who are the heart of New Hope.
Our motto is: New Life, New Joy, New Hope! That will be the springboard to launch into the Word tommorrow.
Like Henry, I'll be praying before the battle.