Today's the day after Christmas. The tree has come down, the decorations have been boxed, and if you came to our house today you'd have a hard time believeing we celebrated the birth of our Savior yesterday. We've moved on.
All except our hearts.
My wife was visibly moved yesterday during my sermon, and as I try to stay in eye contact with the crowd, I noticed her, seemingly in dismay. Then I forced myself to move on. While speaking the words to the congregation I had researched and prepared for all week, my mind was also going through a checklist of - was it something I just said? Did she suddenly confront a memory? When we talked later, she said that she just hasn't been able to get past the reason for the season - that we sinners needed a sacrifice paid for our sins, and it came within the package of a baby boy.
My heart is unsettled, as I'm wrestling with what to do, what to initiate - how to lead - deep and lasting change in the lives of the people God has given me to shepherd. In recent days, it's been made very apparent that the depth of commitment through lifestyle actions is shallower than I thought among our people. So what to do, I wonder?
One approach is to go "back to the Bible". Never realized we left it behind. Then too, I've met too many mean and hateful people who could quote chapter and verse. It never hit their heart - never changed their lives.
Another is the more terrifying. Get closer.
Closer to the people I serve, though intentional discipleship. Closer through small groups where intimacy and accountability coexist. That's foreign to our programmed SBC culture.
I've been wandering around bookstores, reading online, searching for a sign to guide me. Wondering as I wander is a good way to put it.
But I know this - I'm not going to intentionally fail at helping people know Christ and live in the Spirit.
So pray for me.