Bishop Curry reminds us why we need preachers
By Clay Perkins
Saturday, May 26, 2018
‘’Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.” — 2 Timothy 4:2 (The Bible, New International Version)
Did you enjoy the royal wedding? Did you notice that for a little over 13 minutes the focus switched from Prince Harry and his bride, Meghan, to Bishop Michael Curry? And what was he doing that caused the attention to change? He was preaching. He was giving the homily on the “Power of Love.” Multiple media outlets just raved about the sermon. Many spoke of how refreshing and positive his message on love was. Most of his sermon consisted of simple statements found in the Bible and commonsense applications for loving one another. And if you are one of the millions that enjoyed his message, then go to church. You will be glad you did.
Why? Because week after week, in both small and large houses of worship, there are those who have dedicated their lives to the art of preaching, and they deliver excellent advice for living. You will not regret your decision to regularly take the time to listen to God’s Word preached.
Yes, I know, preaching has fallen out of favor with some. We often hear people say “Don’t preach to me. Don’t judge me.” But if we lose the ability to listen and learn from ministers, are we not doing ourselves a deep disservice? Do we not benefit greatly from listening to those who teach us week after week, thinking about the lessons, and adjusting our habits?
Yes, I know, not every preacher is as gifted as Bishop Curry. And some preachers will speak longer than 13 minutes. But these local ministers love you. They will be there when your family is in need to pray with you and to love you. They will not only teach you how to live a good life, but they will live and serve among you. Preachers have a lot to teach us in and out of the pulpit.
Those who preach do so from a sense of calling from God. They are not there to entertain us. They are there to serve us. They challenge us to do better so that our lives benefit. They do so with great love and patience. When the words they share match current cultural opinions, they speak clearly and boldly. When the words they share do not match current cultural opinions, they speak clearly and boldly. Their unchanging message of love transcends all cultures and all times — past, present, and future. We are better off when we listen to and learn the eternal truths they seek to explain.
So, go to church. And the best part of the service just might be the sermon. Listen. Learn. Let’s make preaching popular again because we need to hear the message being shared. Sermons that cause us to reflect on our lives and how we treat each other are good for the soul. Homilies that help us understand God and His love for each of us are beneficial for understanding our greater purpose in life. Preaching has great benefits!
D. Clay Perkins is an adjunct professor at Mid-Atlantic Christian University. The opinions expressed in this column belong to the author and may not be those of MACU.