Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sometimes, it just works

Sunday was one of those perfect storm Sundays. I returned from vacation the day before. My family was in tow (parents, 3 siblings, 1 brother-in-law & 1 niece). It was a full house. Aidan was going to be baptized. We had a Young Family potluck following worship, to which I didn't know how many were planning to attend until I got to church that morning. It was Scottish Harvest Sunday - meaning we had bagpipers parading in and a canon being fired before & after worship. Saturday night I got a call that one of our co-pastors, John, had fallen off his ladder, cleaning the gutter and I was needed to march in the "parade." Did I mention I was preaching? As I stood among the paraders, waiting to walk across the bridge following the pipers & into the sanctuary, I thought to myself "THIS could be ugly - this could be the worst sermon I've ever preached."

It just happened to be the 3rd Sunday with our lay Stewardship sharing. The gentleman sharing, whose son I'd married about a month ago, talked about the "practical" side of giving - literally, how to set aside money for when it could be needed to give away. Then he shared how he'd done that, and was presented with the opportunity to provide travel for a family fleeing the Philippines a few years ago. I almost began to cry... My entire sermon was all about creating margins (space) so that we could provide for those who exist on the margins. We never talked ahead of time - God just made it fit. Not to say the sermon went off without a hitch - We had mic problems, which meant I preached from the pulpit instead of walking back & forth on the stage. I still thought my sermon was disjointed and somewhat tough to follow. It seemed REAL short too. But it fit with everything else - it was the same message, and that gave it power, well beyond the actual words that I shared.

No, this was not the most well-crafted sermon. And I lamented the fact that it wasn't. But I swear, as I stood there afterward, hearing how some people were touched by the message, I heard God say (in my mind) - "I'm not going to let you get in the way of what I'm doing. You do what you can, and at the end of the day, my Word is going to go out." It was really humbling to be a part of yet another situation where God shows up in a VERY unplanned and wonderful way...

1 comment:

Jeff, Laurie, Cambria, Avery & Carys said...

Great stuff Don. Every time something like that happens it seems like a miracle and there is nothing wrong with that. I can't even begin to count how many times I have experienced or heard others experience something similar to what you went through last Sunday. It doesn't mean that we should stop preparing or planning but it does show God is orchestrating his work even when we feel like are less than "100% ready".

Keep pressing on!