CHANGE THE SUBJECT
A British pastor one day was having coffee with a man who was hired
to paint the church. Making small talk, the painter said, “A lot of
people come to church, don't they? I see many cars parked here every
time I drive by.” Surprisingly the pastor said, “Do you mind if we
change the subject? You're talking about my least favourite subject.”
The painter was shocked that the pastor didn't want to talk about
church. After all, isn't that what they do? Inquisitively the painter
asked, “What is your favourite subject?" The pastor said, “Jesus”. As
the pastor started talking about Jesus, he could see that the painter's
eyes were filling up with tears.*
People tend to talk about the things that are most meaningful to
them. What was meaningful to the pastor in our story above was not
church or anything else, but it was Jesus. That is what worship is all
How can things that are fading away compare to the Creator who
clothed himself in humanity, experienced life like us, taught, loved,
and gave himself so that all who believe in him can be restored to
relationship with Him.
The Apostle Peter stood up in Jerusalem and preached a sermon that
saw thousands of lives changed. The subject of his sermon was Jesus
Christ. Explaining the unique and powerful experience of Pentecost,
Peter said, “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all
witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God,
and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit,
He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.” (Acts 2:32, 33)
Like Peter, Paul had as his focus the living Christ whom he met on
the road to Damascus. Paul went further and said, “I count all things
to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my
Lord”. (Philippians 3:8)
Even though worldliness and commercialism have overtaken these
two seasons, Resurrection Day (Easter) and Christmas are about
Jesus. Nothing can compare to him, not even family and generosity.
It is very easy for everyone to be tempted to focus on things or
experiences. An artistic performance, a good meal, or a kind gesture,
can receive overt attention and even unwarranted praise. Even
worship songs can be given praise, boarding on idolatry.
We could spend time enjoying our candlelight, but it is wiser to let the
sunlight in. Let's change the subject!
No matter what we experience in life, good and bad, Jesus Christ
should be our main topic of conversation. An example would be to
turn the conversation to the faithfulness and goodness of God when
blessed or happy. When trouble comes, we can speak about God's
enduring presence and the hope we have in his great love and power.
After healing a lame man, people began to worship Paul and
Barnabas. They actually said, “The gods have become like men and
have come down to us”. (Acts 14:11) Like the British pastor, Paul and
Barnabas did not want the attention drawn to themselves or any other
earthly thing. They cried out, “Men, why are you doing these things?
We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to
you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who
made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them”.
(Acts 14:15, 16)
God is God and we are not! Nothing can compare to Jesus Christ and
so we are wise to change the subject to him.
We appreciate your Comments
*story from book "Preach the Word" by Greg Haslam
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