Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true. – Ecclesiastes 12:9-10

The hours between 7-10 p.m. Saturday evening comprise just about my favorite time of the week. I have finished cleaning the kitchen after dinner, I have just now made a pot of tea and Rebekah and I are both settling into our final preparations for Sunday.

She, working at the dining room table, is finishing up the last few paragraphs of her sermon before I run it off and she completely tears it apart between now and the morning; I, holed up in the family room with a study book and a Bible, am preparing to teach my class.

All our combined creativity and curiosity and scholarship and passion for Jesus concentrated in these few hours between dinner and rest. Ideas flying from room to room; scriptures voiced and commented on; quotes from great thinkers peppering our conversation; prayer voiced both independently and together; vision for the church we serve and inspiration for the people we both love.

I’m not sure why it moves me so deeply, but it does. These hours are like everything that matters distilled into a moment of purpose, assurance and conviction. How will God work in and through us this Sunday morning? I am not sure what exactly will transpire, but I can say beyond any doubt that we are the most privileged of people to be in the middle of God’s will and faithfulness and to be witnesses to such strong initiatives of love and grace.

If reading this is your first clear invitation to take a few steps on a new journey with Jesus, then please take a moment to pray: “Loving God, thank you for your wide open spirit and your unconditional willingness to walk with us as we travel along this road. Lead us, by your grace and mercy, lead us home. Amen.”

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Derek Maul
Derek Maul has written for many news outlets, including the Tampa Tribune, The United Methodist News Service, All Pro Dad, FOCUS Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Presbyterians Today, Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications. Read Derek Maul’s daily blog posts at