Today was exhausting. I know that doesn’t sound like the most positive way to begin this post, but I feel it. Why, you ask? As the ministry intern at my church this summer, I was given the opportunity to preach a full-blown sermon today for both church services and a shorter service at Westminster Village (I know Grandma Rosalie was thrilled to see me up there on her turf). I’m going to make this an anti-climactic post and just say that it went well. Because I think it did. But let me describe the preaching journey for you…
I knew this was coming from day one. I agreed to it, but it’s amazing how fast a date like July 24th can sneak up. Memorial’s pastors teach primarily from the Lectionary, which is basically like a church calendar that assigns each Sunday four scripture passages: old testament, new testament, gospel, and a psalm. About five weeks ago, I looked through the Lectionary to pick my text I would talk about. Genesis was out–how could I make a good sermon out of a story about a father-in-law tricking his new son into sleeping with the wrong daughter? The psalm wasn’t very specific and the gospel was packed with seven different parables. That left Romans 8:26-39. So I spent the next few weeks thinking, looking at commentaries, and being my own harshest critic. Soon enough, my sermon was born.Beyond the sermon, though, I also was able to pick all the hymns, praise music, words of reflection and liturgy, not to mention (nicely) ordering Scott and Jill around, telling them what they were in charge of for the day.
My sermon title was called “The Chase.” The main idea was that even though we’re guaranteed God will always love us, we sometimes run away from that security because we’d rather handle things on our own. Luckily, God still pursues us…every day.
Thought Number One: I totally have a new appreciation for ministers and the art of preaching. I spent however many weeks preparing this sermon, and ministers do this EVERY WEEK. Kudos times ten. For real. Scott and Jill, you are awesome. Thank you for all your encouragement.
Thought Number Two: Many many MANY thanks to my family and friends who came to support me today. Here’s looking at you Mom, Dad, Megan, Matt, Aiden, Owen, Mark, Gina, Grandma Adams, Grandma Rosalie, Emma, Andy, Paul, Madeline, and Ryan, as well as the Manning’s, my extension family, Kelli, Becky, and the rest of my absolutely amazing church family. And Thomas, I felt your support from New Mexico. Thank you.
Geez, I sound like I just won an Oscar or something ridiculous. Wrapping things up though, yes, it was an exhausting day, but most importantly, it was an amazingly rewarding day. Multiple people came up to me and said how they needed to hear those words, or they came with someone who needed to hear those words. That’s so cool. But what’s cooler is this: I didn’t tell them what they needed to hear. God did. He’s good. And to be a part of that goodness reignited my own faith. Oh, the saga of preaching.
(If you want to hear the sermon in whole, head on over to the church website, umcmemorial.com, and scroll down about halfway).
Tired and totally blessed.