Summary: I thought it would be profitable if we would use this Preaching moment to highlite THE PAINS OF A RELEVANT PASTOR. For I am foolish enough to believe that A RELEVANT PASTOR WILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE PAIN THAT IS PAIRED WITH THE TASK OF TENDING THE FLOCK
One who is Hurled, Thrown into the Path of a People who are Bent on Self-Destruction Must Be Relevant. He must be Germane to a Grieving Generation. His Applications must be Appropriate for the Aches of His Age. His Preaching must be Pertinent to the Problems of His Parish. His Sermons must be Suited for the Situation, Fit to Function. He must be Apt to Apply the Logic of the Lord to the Discourse of Human Reasonings. One who is Thrown into the Path of his Perplexed People Must Be Relevant!
And that leads me to conclude that Not All who Occupy Pulpits and who carry the Shepherd’s Staff Are Relevant! There are many, wearing the tag and title of Pastor both here and abroad, who have absolutely no clue. I do believe that if they were ever relevant, it would literally scare them. They have no clue as to the Crises and Challenges that are confronting the Flock of God in this present age. They are simply “clouds without water carried about by the winds; trees whose fruit withers-without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots.” They aren’t relevant! They are “raving waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.” They Are NOT Relevant! The Lord God said as much to Jeremiah. For in chapter 23:21-22, the Lord says: “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.” The fact of the matter is that they aren’t Relevant to Righteousness. They aren’t Germane to Grace. They aren’t Suited for Salvation. They aren’t Tagged for Truth-Telling. They aren’t Fit to Function as a redemptive Force in the Plan of God. They Just Aren’t Relevant!!!
But I do submit that GOD STILL HAS SOME RELEVANT PASTORS! JEREMIAH WAS A RELEVANT PASTOR! For his name in Hebrew, Yirmeyah, denotes “he who the Lord elevates.” It suggests to us that the Lord raised up Jeremiah for just such an hour and then, hurled him into the path of the people to halt their progression to destruction.
Jeremiah was Relevant in the sense that he possessed the PATHOS, ETHOS and LOGOS of THEOS! He had the Pathos-the Heart-the Compassion of God. For he cared deeply for his people and their plight. That’s why he’s expressing his hurt, pain and concern in our text in that “O! Language. He was gripped by the Ethos-the Ethics-the Righteousness of God. That’s why he pushes God’s standard to the forefront. He was mastered by the Logos of God. For from a child, the Lord had placed His Word in Jeremiah’s mouth and told him to speak it! Thus, any Pastor of modernity who possesses the PATHOS, ETHOS and LOGOS of THEOS IS RELEVANT!! He has a MESSAGE FOR THIS MESS-AGE!!!
Therefore, I thought it would be profitable if we would use this Preaching moment to highlite THE PAINS OF A RELEVANT PASTOR. For I am foolish enough to believe that A RELEVANT PASTOR WILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE PAIN THAT IS PAIRED WITH THE TASK OF TENDING THE FLOCK OF GOD. I wonder, Are you Interested?
I. EVERY RELEVANT PASTOR PARTAKES OF HIS SHARE OF PAIN.
1. A Relevant Pastor Must Deal With The PAIN OF HEART FAILURE - 8:18-19. In chapter 8:18-19, Jeremiah seems to be clutching the very heart of his awakened soul when he says:
“When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart faints in me.”
He seems to be describing there an experience which is common to every relevant pastor. He seems to be describing the Heart Condition of a Relevant Pastor. For week after week, month after month, year after year, Sorrows attack the Hearts of Pastors until we have to cry out “OH! My Heart! When I would shout for joy and be glad, Sorrows cause my heart to palpitate!”
Here’s what I mean. More often than not, when the phone rings in his study whether it be a church member or a voice of a stranger, the Voice on the other end of the phone is the Voice of a Cry of Pain and Perplexity. Very rarely do folk, as Stevie Wonder put it, “Just called to say I love you.” But more often than not, it is the Voice of “I’ve fallen and can’t get up!” Or “Pastor, I just don’t know what I’m going to do.” Or “I need prayer and help concerning this situation.” When he wants to rejoice with others, he has to listen to the Voice of Pain, Hurt and Perplexity!