I don't preach too often at the church where I'm youth pastor at (probably for a number of very good reasons!), but this past Sunday I got to throw all my cards on the table and share a message from the pulpit, that is the music stand in the elementary school gym where we have our worship gatherings. I preached a sermon titled "The Kingdom of God: God With Us." I explored and visited the text of Lamentations 3:15-26 as a meditative reading and responsive reading during different parts of the service, and preached on Luke 4:14-30.
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Some of you may know that the last six weeks or so have been some difficult ones...my grandfather passed away just as finals were beginning for seminary, I got poison ivy so that I couldn't walk, my mother-in-law broke her ankle, and since Shey's only sister who requires full-time care as a result of a car accident a number of years ago was devoid of a care giver who could get around...Shey and I moved in to the in-laws house for a few days each week for a few weeks to help out. My youngest brother C-$$ graduated high school, and I had crazy papers to write to finish up school which all hit in a short amount of time. And as I was preaching and sharing about God being those who are down-and-out, the vulnerable, the blind, the poor and the downcast...I was moved deeply as I was realizing the depth to which God is with us in the midst of an embodied community.
I'm no great preacher, but I am thankful for the chances to share a little bit of where I am going in my journey with Christ in the midst of a larger community that I am a part of.
Hopefully the summer will slow down a bit from here. I'm trying to read some literature and novels along with some theology this summer and play a little Wii if I get a chance. Anybody read The Kite Runner? That's one of the highest on my list for the summer, it kind of skipped up the list after listening to a recent podcast with Greg Horton over at The Parish and with Wired Parish.com. Otherwise, just trying to chill out a bit for the first time in a while it seems...