So I want to welcome myself back from a short stint away, and as usual while it was nice to get away with my family it is also really nice to be back and getting into the swing of things.
Speaking of swinging things, after much encouragement I have finally posted my first sermon on our church website. You’ll see that it is full text and I’ve included the media that I shared during the actual sermon given this morning. You can read it by clicking here.
Still, what took me so long, you ask? I suppose I was still feeling some anxiety around the idea of my stuff being put out there, open for scrutiny and criticism and I had a fear that would leave me vulnerable and would allow people to see me for me.
But then, what’s wrong with that?
Nothing, I suppose. Actually, I’d say that is a good thing, knowing that whether I am liked or disliked, agreed with or disagreed with, even listened to or not, God is still welcoming me into God’s community and fold.
Really, that is something to be joyful about, not fearful.
So, I admit that I posted my sermon before reading these texts, but as God works, I found them to speak directly to my anxiety and fear. “Don’t let your hearts be troubled” Jesus says, because we are welcomed into God’s house. “Now you are God’s people” says Peter, because God calls us and builds us up as a church. “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” says Stephen the martyr, for he was confident that even when everyone around him hated him for what he has said and done, that God will be faithful in God’s promises of love and inclusion.
This isn’t to say that we should act recklessly and just rely on God’s forgiveness, but it is to say that our fears of what is best or perhaps second best can be quelled by God’s grace. We can confidently trust that regardless of how much we mess things up or how badly we make a mistake or how awful a sermon could be, God will still and forever regard us as God’s children, welcome us into God’s home, and bring us together as a community.
So I am thankful to God and to all of you for accepting me even when I fail and when I am weak, and especially when I write a doozy of a sermon. And it is my solemn promise to you that even if you haven’t experienced me failing or being weak or writing a really awful sermon… you will. Oh believe me you will. I recognise that I am but a human that makes mistakes, yet at the same time dearly loved by our God just as all of you are dearly loved.
Peace be with you all.
Have a great week, everyone!