Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season.
— 2 TIMOTHY 4:2 —
Bruce Alvord: Grace Bible Seminary | Ukraine
As a culture that generally prefers to plan things in detail, we aren’t always good at presenting God’s truth when the opportunity is sudden and unexpected. Our Ukrainian brothers and sisters are much better at this than I am. Many times I’ve seen them rise quickly to the occasion, jumping in to fill the gap with an impromptu sermon from the word or an invitation to a home-cooked meal without advanced notice. Upon inquiry, Ukrainians have told me their motivation for such actions was this verse. Instead of being worried about myself (and my preparation and presentation), Ukrainians have taught me to dive right in and evangelize, to preach extemporaneously at church, and even sing a solo with no preparation or warning! As a culture that generally prefers to plan things in detail, we aren’t always good at presenting God’s truth when the opportunity is sudden and unexpected. One of our funniest memories of our first year in Ukraine was traveling to a village church in the hot summer month of July. The pastor announced that they had guests who would sing for the congregation. The only song I could think of in five seconds to which I might have known most of the words was “O Holy Night.” Attempting to appear sufficiently reverent, I proceeded to bluff my way through the song to the great delight of the Ukrainians, who knew it was a Christmas carol. The Ukrainian people are humble enough not to be too concerned that they are not one hundred percent prepared, the most talented, or can guarantee that they won’t embarrass themselves. Perhaps we should take a cue from them, who themselves have taken a cue from the apostle Paul’s instruction to Timothy to “be ready in season and out.”