Metals melt at different temperatures. Gold, for instance, melts at a temperature of just under 2000˙. If you wanted to reduce that gold cross around your neck to a liquid and recast it into a ring for your finger, you’d need an oven stronger than you have in your house. (Most people need to recast their wedding rings with the cross of Jesus, by the way.)
Human hearts are a lot like metals. They come to church made of the right stuff but molded in the wrong shape. The purpose of preaching is to bring people to their melting point. The gospel burns people down to their most basic parts – makes them focus on the purpose of life and consider shedding meaningless excesses. Then, once we’re reduced to materials God can work with, he recasts us into the shape he means for us to be.
The purpose of preaching is to bring people to their melting point.
Worship, after the gospel, plays a cooling role. We are reshaped by the gospel, and then we cool into our redefined shapes, a new and holy form that requires disciplined maintenance. When we sing our response to God, it is an act into cooling into the form of a people of worship. If you leave church a self-righteous, judgmental, gossip-filled religious person, you haven’t reached your melting point, and you’re definitely not cool(ed). If you leave worship with a sense of humility, realizing you are only made right by the God who loves you, if you realize the only message you have for broken people is a message of love, you’ve been reshaped as you were meant to be.
See you on Sunday for worship. God, melt us and mold us.