To preachers, preaching tomorrow

You are tired.

Some of you have children, and you are angry and horrified and anxious and frustrated and scared.

All you want to do is hold the ones you love and make sure they know how much they mean to you.

You are reeling, and you are wondering what you will say in the face of this massive tragedy because you just want to sit and cry and pray.

And that is good and natural, but, for you, that is not your calling.

You have been called to preach Hope. You have been called to preach Life. You have been called to preach Love.

Please remember: It does not matter if you feel it. Feelings are real and they are valid, but they are fleeting. They do not own us. You want to be honest and authentic, and that is to be applauded. But preaching in the midst of tragedy does not require that you completely “feel it.”

You have been called to preach a word that is not your own. You have been called and trained to preach a word that is God’s.

You and I are fragile creatures. We bend and break more than any of us would like to admit, but this Sunday is a day to rely on the Holy Spirit to bring to mind all you have been told.

In life and in death we belong to God. That was the Truth I proclaimed at the funeral of my father-in-law who took his own life. It is the Truth that sustains us. It is the Truth for a reason: It is true.

You have not been called because you are above this. You have not been called because this tragedy does not affect you. You have been called because you know the Truth that has set us free. The Truth that God holds us, even in the midst of tragedy. In the midst of Life and in the midst of Death.

People will not believe you. They may call you a charlatan and a liar. They may be angry. They may revile you. But one day they will see that the word you have offered is the Truth of God. That Hope wins. That Love wins. That Faith wins.

You are tired, but God will sustain you.

I will pray for you fervently.