How Pastoral Visitation And Gospel Proclamation Work Together

For a couple of isolated yet lengthy chunks of time on Tuesday and Wednesday, I was working on a sermon.

(OK, I was working way ahead, on one of the later sermons in the upcoming The Light At The Beginning Of The Tunnel series.  This one will be called “Final Light.”)

Anyway, in spite of a whole lot of jotting, scribbling, swearing, and brainstorming, I had a whole lot of ideas but not much focus.  It was a message in search of a bottom line . . . sort of like the Jesus doesn’t stand out; he stands alone from this past Sunday.

Towards the end of the day Wednesday, I stopped by to have a good old fashioned home visit with an older gentleman in our church who is home-bound.  I think we used to call folks like that “shut-ins.”  This man is strong in his faith, deep in the Word, and until his health declined, extraordinarily faithful in attending worship.

In the course of our conversation, he began speaking of his views of eternity, my mind began making connections with what I’d wrestled with over the last two days, and then, improbably, I put my mouth in gear.  And while talking, my bottom line for that upcoming sermon spilled out.  I talked to think — which if you know me well, you know how rare that is.

And so what is this sermon bottom line that emerged in the middle of pastoral visitation?

I’ll tell you.

On May 1.