…but more than a trumpet

Some 19 years ago, when I was ordained as a minister of the Gospel, the preacher at that service chose to preach on the story of Gideon. In particular, he picked out the following verse for me:

The Spirit of the Lord clothed himself with Gideon, and blew upon the trumpet. (Judges 6 v.34)

In other words, the Spirit’s message could not be clearly heard without the mouth, the hands, the physical frame of Gideon to give it shape.  He is smaller than the message itself, and lacks the fine tuning and craftsmanship of the trumpet – but without him the whole enterprise is lost. Today, with some trepidation, I contemplate my role as God’s trumpet-holder. This morning, I shall be preaching on Job’s incredible statement of faith “I know that my Redeemer lives” (Job 19 v.25), and this evening on the injunction in Ecclesiastes to ‘stand in awe of God’ (Ecclesiastes 5 v.7).

Who am I to speak about such things? God’s windbag, I suppose. No, in fact I am less than that – for the breath in the image above comes from God, not from me. Suffice it to say that I am some part of the equation – and that is all that matters.

Whilst preparing for this morning’s sermon, I have listened many times to Handel’s sublime aria ‘I know that my Redeemer liveth.’ Perhaps I should listen to this one before I leave the house though.