This is a picture of the International Center of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Chapel in St. Louis MO. Everyday chapel services are held there and I have to confess that there was a time that I coveted a chance to preach there. I have preached there several times since that desire first surfaced in my head and I have to say that I enjoyed all the experiences, the preaching and chanting the Matins service. Was it a sin to covet a chance to preach there?
Well coveting is covered by two commandments so obviously it is a big deal. Paul says in Romans 14, “For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” I wanted to preach at the chapel because I wanted to preach Christ and him crucified, there, at that venue. I coveted the opportunity to shout the Good News in that place. Was there a sinful notion of pride there? – probably. For that I repent.
My point I hope is simple. I can never unravel all of the motives, reasons, desires and issues that cause me to do or not to do many things. If what I desire is grounded in faith in Christ then I need to do it. Will even that act be tainted with sin? – probably – actually more than likely. Yet my life is hidden with Christ in God and I live in that Grace.
Yesterday I sent out a request that I “coveted” prayers for a contributor to this Blog – Bill Sharpe, and I received a notice back that prayers would ascend for Bill at the IC chapel service yesterday. Bill was undergoing surgery or so I thought. So should I have tried to analyze my motives and reasons and desires and weeded out the sinful desires? Rather than be paralyzed by my desire to analyze I recall the words of Luther – what moves us to pray? God’s command and promise; our own and our neighbors great need, and gratitude for benefits received.
By the will Bill’s Dr. had an emergency and rescheduled Bill for this morning – I covet your prayers.