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Pulpit of First United Methodist Church, Santa Barbara (taken by Dallis Day Richardson)

Pulpit of First United Methodist Church, Santa Barbara (taken by Dallis Day Richardson)

Every week
week after week
I put words on a page
and I pray
as I write each one out
it is a word
that in combination with other words
will speak peace into the lives of hearers.

I am a preacher –
not a wild, untamed preacher like John the Baptizer,
whom one might be excused for judging as harsh
as he roared his message of repentance
at the righteous and unrighteous alike,
calling every soul out
to take a clear-eyed look at themselves
and finally grasp that something’s got to change!

I preach with trepidation,
aware that some may find my words inspired
while others seem to know better.

This preaching life does not get any easier.

The preacher stands in need of grace too.

I am a preacher.

Week after week,
the Word who took on flesh calls to all who have ears to hear,
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled,
and do not let them be afraid.”

Words (c) 2014 Mark Lloyd Richardson

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