Home > Uncategorized > A thought about heralds from the sermon cutting room floor

A thought about heralds from the sermon cutting room floor

John the Baptist was the returning King’s herald, Mark explains by quoting Isaiah.  What will the herald proclaim but the very Word of the King Himself.  But Isaiah the herald too, must speak to the people.  To Israel held captive by the most powerful nation on earth, Isaiah must speak a word from the Lord.  And the word is not very comforting: “All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the LORD blows on it; surely the people are grass.”  We are all going to die.  This is a word of Law from the Lord.  No matter how powerful you are, no matter how wealthy, no matter how successful you are, like the grass of the field you will die.

Proclaiming the Word of the Lord is not really an enviable task.  It certainly wasn’t for Isaiah nor for John the Baptist.  And people today are no more kind to true preachers than their ancestors.  In our heart of hearts we want to listen to people who make us feel better about ourselves not worse.  And so the TV is filled with preachers like Joel Osteen and his ilk.  Like Robert Schuller and his Hour of Power, Osteen tells people to dream big because God fulfills our dreams.  That’s a different message than the message of the Scriptures.

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