Jump Start # 3008
Colossians 3:4 “When Christ, who is our lie, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”
This year I decided that I want to spend some of my reading time going through the many books that I already have, especially the older ones. In my collection is one titled, “The Heart of the Yale Lectures.” It was published in 1947. I have picked bits and pieces out of this book for years, but don’t remember reading it through. So, I started. And, what an immediate surprise I found. My copy of this book was once owned by Aude McKee, just a prince of a preacher, especially throughout Indiana and Tennessee. He had signed this book. Inside, there was a postcard that I put there from him. He gave me this book in 1988 and was encouraging me as a young preacher.
As I started reading this book, I became more fascinated with all the notes that bro. McKee had filled this book with. And, one of these gems, is what I want to share with you today. He had written on page 3 of this book, “ A preacher must be like a clean window—letting all the light shine thru and adding none.” I’d not heard that statement before.
A preacher must be like a clean window. As I write these words, I’m looking out a window. I can see the snow upon the ground, the sun trying to peek through the clouds and some trees. My attention is not focused upon the glass in the window, but what I see through the window. That’s the purpose of the window. It is so you can see out and so light can come in. To be in a room without windows can be very dark and drab. One doesn’t know what the weather is outside if you can’t see through the windows.
The clean window idea isn’t fitting for just preachers, but for all of us. Let’s put some thought to this:
First, the window must be clean. On a cold Indiana morning, many folks have to go out and scrape the frost off of their car windshields. If they don’t they can’t see. Dirty windows obscure and block the light that ought to come through. Our attention moves from what’s beyond the window to all the fingerprints that have smudged the view. A clean window points to a clean character. The attention shouldn’t be upon the window nor upon us. When the heart is not pure and the motives are not clean, the good that we do can be lost. It is simply not seen.
Second, it is up to us to have a clean character or window. No one can clean it for us. Now, in an office building, even the church building, there may be people hired to clean the windows. But spiritually and morally we can only clean our own windows. And, if our windows are dirty and the view is not clear, it’s our own fault. It’s not the job of the church to create a clean character for me. It’s not my family’s job. This is something that only I can do.
And, this is where hypocrisy becomes a real problem. Hypocrisy is all about image. It’s more than just looking good, it’s pretending to be good when one is not. For the hypocrite the window is clean only on the outside. The outside looks right. The outside is fine. But, it’s the other side of the window, the inside that is really a mess. And, when either side of the window is dirty, the window is dirty. That’s just how it is. Some are more concerned about what others see in them than letting Jesus shine through them.
Third, as ole’ bro. Aude said so well, “…we must let all the light shine through without adding none.” That adding none, is about us. Stop being the spotlight. Stop stealing the light. Stop standing in front of the light. And, in his words, don’t add any more light. God’s word is strong enough to do the job. It’s powerful enough to cause Satan to run and to turn us from our wicked ways. You don’t need to use the sideshow tactics of carnival racketeers who are selling bottles of Dr. Hootch’s magical formula that cures all. Let God speak for Himself. Use God’s words. You don’t need psychological tricks to win people to Christ. Preach Christ.
Don’t add any more light to what is already there. The drawing power for the sinner is not the friendship and fellowship of the church. He can find that in the local bar. It’s not that the church will take care of him. The power is in Christ. Christ first. Christ always. Salvation is in no other name, but Christ. We don’t need to trick our friends or fool our family with food and games and then slip in the Gospel. Be up front. Be honest. Be a clear and clean window.
I always liked bro. McKee. I never got to spend much time with him. He passed through the doorway of death into God’s next room in 2011. I’m thankful he gave me this book. I’m looking forward to reading more gems that he wrote throughout it. What a treasure this is. What a greater treasure it is that someone can look through us and see Jesus. That, indeed is the greatest blessing of all.
Be a clean window…