As I continue to try to improve my preaching, I ran across a thought that struck me. The idea goes something like this: If you generalize about something you make it seem far away, but if you are very specific it seems close. We say, "I'm going to 321 E. St. in Winchester, or Downtown Indianapolis, or Paris, or China, or Mars." See how they get more general the further away you are. That's the concept.
As I thought about the concept a while it struck me that we as pastors have been guilty of this too often. We speak of God and Heaven and Salvation...Yet, they seem so far away. We speak of a God that did amazing things....years ago. We preach about a Heaven...in the skies. We accept a Salvation...for the future.
My aim is to narrow the gap. What is God doing, RIGHT NOW? Where is Heaven, RIGHT HERE? What does Salvation mean for our lives, RIGHT HERE & NOW?
In my missions class I was taught that the missionary translates three things: The Bible (and it's culture), your own culture, and the culture to which you are going. I remember being really stoked about the idea. I went home thought about and came back to class with a question. I repeated the professor's thesis, and I asked, "Isn't this exactly what a pastor is supposed to do." He smiled and said, "You got it."
For teachers and pastors, our aim continues to be that of offering a better glimpse of God at work in the people's lives...Not just long ago...Not in others' lives...Not in the future....but God at work and play, RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.