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Why do I Write?
After eight years away from civilisation, Gawrila Sarytschew stood before Alexander I and unfolded for him mysteries only he could share. Since 1785 he, along with his crew, had lived on the predominately unexplored Frozen Ocean of Siberia, boldly going where no man had gone before. Expecting his findings to be delivered to a select few or remain confined to his own mind, instead, he found his job was not yet over. At the Tsar’s behest, all that he had found was to be chronicled, a gift to all the peoples of Russia and the World.
Love for the Creator
“These sketches are… evidences of God's love, for oft have they come just at the moment when, had they tarried, I had been undone.”
A Doxology, C.H.Spurgeon
Even now, sitting down to write, I can feel the eyes of the Lord on my heart, searching me as only he who truly knows me can, a phenomenon Spurgeon’s verse above describes.
I found this doxology in the back of a book of Spurgeon’s sermon skeletons, which might surprise many who think sermons are for the edification of the congregation alone.
Imagine though if I, when cooking for my household, were to serve a different meal each night for myself than for everyone else because I don’t find that meal nourishing enough, or that I need something better. It would hardly instil confidence.
I believe the same is true of the preacher.
“I rejoice in the way revealed by your decrees as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on your precepts and think about your ways.
I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.”
CSB, Psalm 119:14–16.
I’m, rather unfortunately, sure you’ll know what it’s like to hear a preacher whose voice, delivery, or hermeneutics betrayed a lack of love for the content being delivered, or even for the Lord himself. I’ve also known those who’ve hoped that by simply mustering up artificial affections they might be better able to serve the Kingdom, but to no avail.
The same is true of writing.
The verse above illustrates a love for the Lord’s ways, precepts and statutes not for the benefit of onlookers, but as an expression of the Psalmists love for the Lord.
It has, however, been life-giving throughout the ages to those reading them, not because of conjured emotions, but of a true and inspiring love for the Creator.
Love for the created
“As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love…This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you.”
CSB, John 15:9,12
Sarytschew was able to document the events of his expedition not because he had them memorised, but because he had “made it [his] daily practice to note down … everything worthy of observation, without any intention, however remote, of committing [his] remarks to the press.” My writing, like Sarytschew’s, shouldn’t primarily be the passing on of information, but rather an expression of the wonders found in He who is eternally worthy of observation. I deviate from Sarytschew though in this; that I simply cannot abide by keeping it to myself.
Have you ever considered the five separate commands in the new testament to “greet one another with a holy kiss” Though a long-abandoned practice, imagine what it would look like if our actions and words felt like holy kisses, what a difference that would make.
After all, we are commanded to love one another, despite our differences and the stakes are so high.
Scripture reveals that “by this everyone will know that [we are] disciples, if you love one another”
Why then does Evangelical social media culture and the blogosphere seem to delight so readily in not just the pointing out of heresy, but even in the mischaracterisation of those whose beliefs differ only on secondary or tertiary issues.
Though we are to rebuke, discipline, or correct, we must do so in love.
Our task after all doesn’t find its origin in the court of the Tsar, but from the throne of the Almighty, not a far off mystery, but the greatest news ever known to man.
Why do I write?
I pray that my writing would worship God and love others.
That being the case, let every article, message and tweet (especially those) bend under the weight of that love and if they can’t bear it, break beneath it. Do not allow the scratch of my pen or the tap of my keys to be dictated by anything else.
To do so would be to eschew the gospel I’ve been tasked with delivering, for a forgery which pales in comparison.
To the glory of your name,