September 23, 2015
“Sit here while I pray.”
“Since it would not be possible for any believer, however experienced, to know for himself all that our Lord endured in the place of the olive press, when he was crushed beneath the upper and the nether mill-stone of mental suffering and hellish malice, it is clearly far beyond the preacher’s capacity to set it forth to you.”
This Sunday, Kenny Clark will come up against the same preaching challenge that C. H. Spurgeon faced.
“Jesus himself must give you access to the wonders of Gethsemane: as for me, I can but invite you to enter the garden, bidding you put your shoes from off your feet, for the place whereon we stand is holy ground.” ~C.H. SPURGEON
Having just returned from China with his newly adopted son Elijah, Kenny has been preparing to lead us into the garden of Gethsemane, to help us sympathize with Jesus as He agonizes with His Father in prayer.
In a sermon, Spurgeon clearly laid out the challenge that Kenny will face as he preaches this text in Mark 14.
“We have thus come to the gate of the garden of Gethsemane, let us now enter; but first let us put off our shoe from our foot, as Moses did, when he also saw the bush which burned with fire, and was not consumed.
“Surely we may say with Jacob, ‘How dreadful is this place!’ I tremble at the task which lies before me, for how shall my feeble speech describe those agonies, for which strong crying and tears were scarcely an adequate expression?
“I desire with you to survey the sufferings of our Redeemer, but oh, may the Spirit of God prevent our mind from thinking aught amiss, or our tongue from speaking even one word which would be derogatory to Him either in His immaculate manhood or His glorious Godhead.
“It is not easy when you are speaking of one who is both God and man to observe the exact line of correct speech; it is so easy to describe the divine side in such a manner as to trench upon the human, or to depict the human at the cost of the divine.
“Make me not an offender for a word if I should err.
“A man had need himself to be inspired, or to confine himself to the very words of inspiration, fitly to speak at all times upon the great ‘mystery of godliness,’ God manifest in the flesh, and especially when he has to dwell most upon God so manifest in suffering flesh that the weakest traits in manhood become the most conspicuous.
“O Lord, open thou my lips that my tongue may utter right words.”
Yes, Lord, we ask that for Kenny this Sunday.