Wednesday, 9 July 2008

The End is Nigh!

It's about 4 weeks until I leave Southend for Reading, where I'll be working for UCCF. And things are starting to get weird. I've been desperately trying to put the idea of finishing out of my mind for ages so my brain doesn't go on holiday. But no I can't really ignore it. So I'm starting to give some thought wrapping things up (both metaphorically and literally - I've got a lot of junk to pack!). In particular, I'm thinking a lot about my final sermon, which I'll be giving on 27th July.

I read this today: "never preach except as a dying man to dying men." It's a bit of a daisy-chain - Adrian Reynold blogging about R. Kent Hughes quoting Richard Baxter. But it jumped out at me when I read it.

As I think about what I'm going to say in my final talk at Ferndale, this is the mindset I've got. In a lot of ways, this is my last sermon. Not ever, but it'll be the last one at Ferndale for a while, and if I come back I'll be a guest, things will be different. And I'm thinking about how to cram everything I want to say to them into half an hour. Without wanting to give too much away to Ferndalers who might be reading, I'll be preaching the gospel. What else is there?

But the Baxter quote has set me thinking... is it right for me to be thinking about this sermon differently? Do I normally worry less about making mistakes or forgetting things because I'll have another chance to put things right? And what if I don't?

I'm sure it will be emotional, and I'm sure it won't be perfect. But I need to preach every other sermon after it as if it's my last chance too!

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