Permit me for a moment to veer from theological reflections to a personal one.
A year ago was the last time I preached at Village (the church where I attend). My sermon was not received well and I was not asked to preach again.
Even though I met with our pastor every week to help work with him on his sermon. Even though he is very encouraging of the “help” I give to him. Even though I am fully invested in the church. Even though I have preached for 25 years. Even though…I wasn’t asked to preach again.
The reason was that my sermon challenged those who heard in a different way than they were accustomed. (It was the prodigal sermon a few posts below)
A couple months ago, we announced we were moving for business reasons. I didn’t really think about it, but my last preaching experience–and my last “official” service at Village left a bad taste in my mouth. It was discouraging.
Then a few weeks ago, Renjy, the pastor in charge of the chapel service, called to ask if I would preach for him. It changed everything. I preached and that very week, Renjy called and said, “People really resonated with your sermon. Would you preach again before you leave.”
Thank you, Renjy. Thank you for affirming my gift. Thank you for loving me and allowing me to serve.