Paul wrote to Timothy, “Preach the word, be ready in season and out of season.” Martin Franzmann wrote in his hymn, “Preach you the Word and plant it home to men who like or like it not, the word that shall endure and stand when flow’rs and men shall be forgot.”
Preaching the Word when men like it not or even when you yourself would soon as not, is a theme running through the lessons for this Sunday.
In Jeremiah 20: 7-13, the prophet accuses God of deceiving him. He has become a laughing stock. His close friends are plotting against him. All he seems able to preach is violence and destruction, in return he is denounced. He determines “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name.” But when he does, a burning fire rages within him and he can’t hold it in.”
I saw on Facebook this week an article about a church in North Carolina which is going to try not mentioning God in hope of attracting more people. The question is, will they be able to say at the end of the day, along with Jeremiah, “Sing to the Lord; praise the Lord!” or will they hear the Father say, “whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”
Preaching the Word is not a guarantee of success in numbers. But Jesus says, even in the face of opposition and betrayal, we are not to fear, for the Father who knows when a sparrow falls to the ground certainly knows our situation.
Preaching the Word, is of vital importance. Paul wrote to the Romans: “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The Word is the difference between life and death.