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     In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. Hebrews 1:1-3
     Dear heavenly Father, after 26, this is my last Sunday as pastor of a remarkable community of faith—an amazing family of brothers and sisters just as needy of your grace and grateful for your love as the first day we gathered before you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the privilege and honor of getting to serve you in Christ Community Church. You’ve done exceedingly beyond all I could’ve ever hoped or imagined. Great is your fatherly faithfulness; daily your measureless mercies; exquisite and lavish, your steadfast love.
     So what is a last sermon—the final word by an outgoing founding pastor supposed to be? When I first asked myself that question, I felt pressure—as though everything would be on the line; I’d need to “hit it out of the park,” to bring “a word for the ages”. But fortunately, that didn’t last very long, for it’s never been about my performance, but that of your Son, Jesus. Only foolishly and destructively, do we (myself included) allow ourselves to fall back into performance-based living and acceptability. The gospel is the end to all of that navel-gazing nonsense.
     In fact the “final Word” has already been spoken—spoken by you to us, through Jesus about Jesus. Hallelujah, Jesus is your last sermon, Father. Jesus is the “last sermon” from which all last sermons derive their meaning! You have nothing more to say to us that what you shout and sing to us in Jesus. We dare not add anything more than Jesus, or offer anything less than Jesus.
     It was by Jesus that you made the universe, and by Jesus’ word that every molecule, atom and all of life is being sustained. It is Jesus, himself, whom you’ve appointed to be the heir of all things; and because you’ve hidden our life in him, you’ve made us co-heirs with him.
     Jesus is your exact representation, because he shares your nature and has lived with you forever within the Godhead. We’d never know what you are like apart from Jesus. Indeed, to see Jesus is to see as much of your glory as we are capable of sustaining, this side of our life in the new heaven and new earth.
     And, O so wondrously, Father, you presented Jesus, once and for all, as the sacrifice for our sins. Because of Jesus’ death for us on the cross, we enjoy eternal life by you and with you. After he made purification for our sins, he rose, ascended and is now sitting at your right hand—not passively, but actively interceding for us, graciously redeeming his Bride from the nations and gloriously making all things new, until the Day he returns.
     Father, thank you, thank you, thank you for your final Word. May my final sermon simply hold up a megaphone to everything you’ve said and are saying to us in Jesus. Hallelujah, what a Savior! Hallelujah, what a salvation. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name.

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One thought on “A Prayer About the Final Word”

  1. Bob Andrews says:

    Where are you headed?

    Will you continue “Heavenward?”

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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