…or Matthean modesty?

Last Sunday evening somebody stopped me over coffee and passed on a message. Grasping me by the forearm he shook my hand warmly and said that he was so grateful to me for the previous Sunday evening’s sermon. “It has helped me all week long”, he said. Obviously I was grateful for this positive encouragement. However, I have to confess to a surge of panic which only subsided when I was in the car on the way home. You see, it was only at that moment that I actually remembered what I had preached on the previous week. How could that have happened? I had spent time at the desk, on my knees and on my face over that sermon. I had devoted study, intellect, passion and prayer to it. How could have forgotten it so quickly?

I would love to know whether others have been through this? If so – how did you square the circle of taking something so seriously and forgetting it so quickly? I have always wrestled with the interpretation of Matthew 6 v.3 about not letting the right hand know what the left hand is doing. However, I think it might be something to do with not being too aware of what you are contributing to the Kingdom.

There’s a wonderful French proverbial phrase “tu te jettes des fleurs” – meaning that you throw flowers to yourself, much as adoring fans might throw them to an ice skater or a ballerina. It mocks the person to whom it is directed – suggesting they are a little too aware of their own merits.

Can you remember the last sermon you preached – and if so …should you?