Dr. Ray PritchardDr. Ray Pritchard is the president of Keep Believing Ministries, in Internet-based ministry serving Christians in 225 countries. He is the author of 29 books, including Stealth Attack, Fire and Rain, Credo, The ABCs of Christmas, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, An Anchor for the Soul and Why Did This Happen to Me? Ray and Marlene, his wife of 43 years, have three sons-Josh, Mark and Nick, three daughters-in-law--Leah, Vanessa, and Sarah, and seven grandchildren. His hobbies include biking, surfing the Internet, and anything related to the Civil War.
- 2007 Feb 25
We have just posted the sermon I preached last Sunday at Elmhurst (IL) Christian Reformed Church:
Here’s an excerpt:
Jesus saw the multitudes. That's hard to do. In the last year, I've been traveling a lot, preaching in different places. I've been in and out of so many airports that they all look the same to me now. It's easy to sit and daydream while the crowds pass you by. Crowds make us tired, nervous, irritable. It's hard to wait in line at the concession stand, and it's harder to drive on a crowded freeway during rush hour. When the crowds come, it's easy to say, "Leave me alone. I've seen enough people." Jesus had been busy for days. The text says he had been preaching in every village and town. Non-stop itinerant ministry wears you down physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. It's easy to tune people out because you are so worn out.
To see the crowds of the world requires something inside. It means redefining my view of humanity. All of us gravitate toward PLU--People Like Us, whether it be at the country club, the grocery store, the local school, or in our own churches. By nature we tend to hang around people who look like us, talk like us, act like us and think like us. Our kids marry their kids. We raise our children to fit into the social order. And that’s not wrong.
Have you ever had this happen? You're in a crowd, feeling alone and overwhelmed, when suddenly you spot a friend you know. You focus in and block everyone else out. We train ourselves to do it.
But if we are ever going to see the crowds as Jesus did, we must open our eyes and break the mold. Jesus saw something the disciples didn't see. Were they blind? No but they didn’t see what he saw. Even so we may live our whole lives bombarded by the call of God . . . and see nothing . . . and feel nothing.