It is easier to write than to do. Easier to complain than to do. Easier to rant and grieve about injustice and unfairness, than to do anything substantial to change the course of injustice and unfairness. Easier to say “No matter who you are, you are welcome here,” than to do the actual welcoming. Easier to be moved to tears by a song about “Jesus in all his distressing disguises,” a song about people failing to meet the eyes of a beggar on the street, than to meet the eyes of the beggar who greets you the next morning on the street.
I am in Nashville this week for the Festival of Homiletics, being edified, insprired, challenged, prepared for ministry by faithful men and women, passionate women and men, perceptive pastors and prophetic preachers, and, mostly, by the God who speaks through them. It is a joy to be here, to be embraced by the Spirit of Jesus, by the wonder of the gospel, by the power of the Word … that speaks to us with the help of its interpreters, and even in spite of the help of its interpreters.
But, most of all, I am reminded how much I am a writer, a talker, a teacher, a commentator. That comes easy. That I do well. And that is a task to which I believe God has called me. But, before all that and above all that, I am called, as we are all called, to do … to do what Jesus does, to go where Jesus goes, whatever that means, wherever that means, with whomever that means. And that is harder for me … and maybe for you, too.
We need to help each other to be the church, to be faithful people, to be faithful followers of Jesus … by what we do. We need to prod each other, provoke each other, not let each other off the hook too easily. At the same time, we need to encourage each other and remind each other from where, from Whom we draw our strength. The songs, the prayers, the Bible study, the sermons make us ready — and remind us of the One on whom we depend — to do whatever it is that God calls us to do.
It may be big, it may be small, but it will be something.