Another day, another page. Page three could best be described as restful. Even with snow in the forecast and preaching a sermon in the morning, most things that I could have worked on got set aside so I could relax. On the first Sunday of each month, I typically preach at the North Wayne Mennonite Church in the morning. I had chosen to share a message, “A Gift that is WISE”, based out of Matthew 2. The concept was to look at the wise gift of the Magi, the wise gift of God to us, and consider what a wise gift to God from us would look like. As the service began, I noticed in the bulletin that the church would be spending time the rest of the month focused on learning about spiritual gifts with an emphasis on everyone using God’s gifting in their life to serve the body. As this was highlighted during the announcement time, I marveled at how appropriate the message God had given me to share — not just for that morning, but to help prepare a thought process regarding God’s gifting to us and our appropriate response.
For several years now, my sermon style is based around using a word from the title as an acrostic that becomes the sermon’s outline. For this one, the word was “WISE”. We spent time considering a gift that is Wanted, a gift that is Intentional, a gift that is Sacrificial, and a gift that is Enough. Each of these elements were a part of what the Magi gave when they encountered Christ. The are at the core of the gift that God has given to us through His Son, Jesus. How do I make these things central to the gifts I give to God, and to others, is the question that we should continually ask of ourselves.
While preaching probably doesn’t sound like the most restful thing to most people, and would have been completely stressful to me not that many years ago, I tend to draw energy from God when I have opportunities to preach. Even in the midst of great weariness, this energy brings a spirit of refreshment to my body and soul. The hours put into planning, leading, and overseeing the 30 Hours of Prayer focus at Deer Run had left me tired and in need of a refreshing that could only come from God. Being able to preach helped begin that process. Then a quiet afternoon of rest prepared me for an early bedtime so I would be able to start the workweek early the next morning and face whatever snow and work might come.