I am a 25 year old man. God willing, I'll be either 26 or 27 when I am ordained. I'll preach around 75 sermons each year, give or take. Let's say God grants me a situation where I am with the same congregation 40 years and I retire at 67. Let's do the math 75x40= 3,000 sermons. Not a bad number.
Looking at this week's pericope and context for Lent 3 Series C, the OT text is from Ezekiel 33:7-20. Particularly focus on these words from verse 7, as I believe, they apply to the pastor very distinctly.
So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.The words here and the words from 33:1-6 echo what was said to Ezekiel in 3:16-21.
But how can I do this? Of all the sins that are in the world. How can I possibly preach on them all? How can I give warning to men about transgressing the whole Law of God where he has given "a word from His mouth"? I have only 3,000 sermons and that only if I am at that congregation for 40 years that those particular people might hear the whole counsel of of what God warns them about. How might they know of every sin that is harmful to them that they are committing?
Alas, I think that it is not possible.
However, I think there is hope in Christ Jesus, for he has put an end to sin. As the pericopes guide the Pastor to faithfully preach Christ, they do not necessarily lend themselves well to preach against sins that are everywhere in society and that people can easily fall into. Yet, it is that faithful preaching of Christ that ultimately is triumphant. As sins are denounced and declared forgiven since they were shouldered by Christ himself, we are made anew.
A good tree bears good fruit, says Matthew. A good tree bears good fruit. The daily recognition that we are sinners, sinful people until the day we die, carries us in a cycle of repentance and forgiveness. A daily drowning of the Old Man and rising of the New Man. As forgiven men and women, we do walk in righteousness before our God and are being renewed daily by the Holy Spirit working through His Word to keep us from sin and live a God pleasing life, even against sins that, perhaps, the pastor has not preached upon.
I'd like to think that the Holy Spirit is more powerful than my preaching. I'd like to believe that His Word regenerates the hearts of man through the forgiveness of sins and leads them to lead a new life, even when I can't warn them of every sin out there.
God have mercy on me as I speak Your Word. Let me be a faithful servant.