Last week I composed a brilliant article.
It was filled with simile and metaphor. It brimmed with hyperbole. Irony was masterfully intertwined on the linguistic trellis of the prose. Now, where was I?
Dr. Lunceford taught philosophy. Once he was lecturing on Jean Paul Sartre. He was existentially eloquent. In mid-sentence Dr. Lunceford stopped. He gazed down at his notes. He gazed out the window. He looked at us. We had more moments of uncomfortable silence and he said, “What class is this?” There are many stories of absentminded professors. I saw this one in person. It was a bit scary. Preachers do absentminded things too.
On exam day, Dr. Lunceford would walk into the classroom patting his exam. He would say, “I am very pleased with my efforts and you will enjoy the stimulation of this intellectual exercise.” That usually meant that every GPA in the classroom would drop because of one of his philosophy exams. Maybe walking into the sanctuary patting my sermon notebook would indicate that I think we are about to have something great happen. I have not tried that move, yet.
When I finished last week’s article, I sat back in my chair and thought that you would certainly enjoy and would benefit from the well-executed weekly article. In my mind, honoring Dr. Lunceford, I was patting the completed weekly article.
I could not wait to get to church and hear feedback on the article. Not a word was spoken. No one commented on the economy of words creating a broad vista of intellectual stimulation. No one said, “I loved that article and I’ll send it to my mom.” Nothing.
I was flummoxed by the absence of any mention of the superb article. It happens with sermons. The sermon that preachers love the most are the ones the congregation can’t stand. The sermons we think are homiletical dogs, are the ones that people walk out the back door and say, “That message really touched me.” I suppose weekly articles are the same.
All that work for nothing. Well back to the drawing board.
I did something dumb last week. I did the work. I wrote the article. I have copies to prove it.
I never sent the email to the folks who print and distribute the article. I was proud that I met the deadline. I was early. Didn’t send the email with the article attached. I didn’t finish the job. I had an absentminded moment. In my mind, I was finished. In fact, I left out the final step.
The aphorism goes, “No job is complete until the paperwork is done.” There should be an update for our digital world. “No job is complete until the paperwork is done and emailed.” I didn’t finish the article, because I didn’t send the article.
On the cross, Jesus said, “It is finished.”
His work of salvation on our behalf was complete. He did all the Father commanded Him to do.
I’m not sure, as human beings, we can ever say, “It is finished.” We may accomplish our task. We might be done for now. We may check something off our list, but are we ever finished? You could also think about the truth that God is never finished with us. We are a work in progress because we have an ongoing relationship with Christ.
Jesus said, “It is finished.”
The best we can claim is, “God is not finished with us, yet.”