Ecclesiastes 12:9 – And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs. (KJV)
While sending an electronic card to a friend the other day, I noticed that besides all the usual birthday, anniversary and other such cards, there was an incredible array of options for other "days": secretaries, grandparents, kids, bosses, lefthanded's… even one for preachers, called "Clergy Appreciation Day".
Who names these days? How do they choose the day, and how many actually know about it?
It brought to mind the many ministers whom I have known or with whom I am in contact. The ministers who, week after week, come up with prophetic sermons to send their congregations home with a sense of fulfilment; ministers who come, when called, to the bedside of a dying patient, or to the home of someone in recent bereavement; ministers who come up with a funeral service for a soul they've never met; ministers who are called to a congregation in conflict; ministers who marry couples whom they know may not be together in two years; ministers who feel they are failing their calling and floundering all alone.
I thought of ministers who visit old age homes; who spend time with kids in the congregation; ministers who go on missions; who leave one ministry for another; ministers who preach in inner cities; who know their "charges" will go back and repeat what they have done, the minute they are out the door.
I was reminded of ministers who spend time ministering though different media: newspapers, radio, TV, the internet; ministers who post prayerlines, edit websites and work with writers. They all set out to find acceptable words, words of truth. It can't be an easy job but they have been called and they "set in order many proverbs".
For them, every day is preacher's day. It is up to us to acknowledge it by wishing them a happy "Clergy Appreciation Day", especially in those times when we think they could most use it!
Prayer: We thank you Lord, for those who are called to deliver your word. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.