All year long, I knew I’d be preaching the message at my local church on New Year’s Eve, bringing our year-long “Outreach” emphasis to a close while also looking forward to the new year. What I didn’t know earlier in the year was that this would be my final message at the church we’ve called home over the past couple of years.
So, when it came time to begin preparing for this message, I had difficulty clarifying my thoughts and narrowing down the swirling tornado of ideas in my heart and head.
Where should my focus lie?
What message was God laying on my heart?
I sketched out several different outlines and even began fleshing out a couple of them. But nothing “clicked,” as I had a nagging feeling like there was something else that the Spirit was prompting me to share.
The picture was unclear, but it involved telling parts of my story, the story of God’s work in my life, the people who played a part in that process, and encouraging others to tell their stories, too.
With Christmas Day having come and gone, the image of snapshots came into focus. So I searched through some photos and newspaper clippings and thought about some of the critical moments in my life and those who helped me come to where I am now. I reflected on some Scripture and then thought about it in the context of the past year, the year to come, and living a missional life in the present.
I was blessed and encouraged as I spent time preparing for this message.
As always, the Lord works in me every time I prepare to share what the Lord has placed on my heart.
This message was probably more personal than any I’ve preached, but my hope and prayer was that those who listened would begin to see their own lives reflected in mine.
Here’s the message in video form. The sermon begins at approximately 19:25.