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A Breath of Fresh Air

Confessions of a realistic pollyanna

A remarkable sermon. I can't say I ever have preached one. Oh I have had a handful of good ones in my 28 years of ministry. But not one that you'd ever describe as remarkable. Of course maybe I shouldn't be surprised. In all my years that I can remember only a handful that really stand out. The minister at my home congregation who preached a sermon called, "Why not" which dealt with those people who ask the question, "Why me?" A second was listening to a recorded sermon given by Martin Luther King Junior while sitting in Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta which was the congregation that King served. He spoke of freedom, unity and God's love. A couple of others were given at the Festival of Homiletics that I attended a couple of years. Karoline Lewis preached a sermon on the little known story of the daughters of Zelophehad found in the Book of Numbers chapter 27- where for the first time women were given property rights and were not treaty as property themselves. She likened that to young people, in her home state of Georgia, who were going against their parents, school authorities, and town officials and were going to throw the first high school graduation ceremony that was open to all races (this was in 2013). Another was by Nadia Volz Weber, known as the "radical rev", a minister from Colorado whose church is known for its radical inclusivity. In her sermon she talked of finding the value in those who are unheard and marginalised.

I heard one more remarkable sermon this past week. Archbishop Michael Currie spoke of love being the key to making all things new. His message was not new, but the way he preached his message with such emotion and ferver shocked many of the establishment. But in his short sermon, Michael Curry challenged a world full of hate to rediscover how to love one another. Many people have remarked how that sermon has touched a chord. If only the establishment would listen, our world would be forever changed.

Archbishop Curry's message was something different for a royal wedding. Usually royal wedding sermons are traditional, dry, not directed to the couple in general but to the idea of marriage as an institution. In generally, royal wedding sermons are boring and lifeless. But Curry's sermon was life giving and life affirming. It was a breath of fresh air.

We are presently in the season of Pentecost. A time when we are told that the Spirit of God blew through the people and change was born. New life was given. May we be open to the Spirit as it continues to breathe new life into what we do. May we welcome the breaths of fresh air. Blessings

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