When I look out at blue skies, I don’t think of its depth, I see its wideness and it is obviously tall but I don’t see the three dimensions.
It is all a bit flat.
A few years ago someone picked up my sermon script and brought it to life, recently I saw them do it again…
How things have changed, in a small rural town three hours from here mid sermon I jumped up and down. An inner wry smile, remembered the two dimensional preaching of old and embraced this “being the sermon.”
Not sure why God chose this small town to restore my preaching confidence. But job done, confidence has arrived.
I was thinking of Peter and the transformation from ‘Big Fisherman’ to fine orator and I looked critically at myself from flat reading to expressive going where the Spirit led me that day. It has been a journey (thus far) and will continue.
So he chose this particular place and for many reasons I was glad it was there and afterwards another preacher came up to me, and maybe he says this to every preacher, maybe it was the words I wanted or needed to hear, maybe I needed some human encouragement – but what he said was, “I have listened to many sermons over the years but this was the first one I wanted to stand and clap after.”
Did I need to hear that? Those particular words?
It actually took me down thought routes of performance, at first, but then I got it.
He might have been saying those words human to human, but I did little of the work that day and all glory go to God.
The Spirit held me in that place, that town that has been the pinnacle of my guilt and shame, afterwards I realised I just walked in, plonked myself down and was me.
Me, without the burden of guilt and shame, me openly talking about who I belonged to, me a redeemed child of God, Gomez, Paul, …
I didn’t deserve and I don’t deserve the mercy & love that swirls around and within and I am so grateful for that love.
I am becoming the person God wants me to be and it is surprising (to me) who that is.
When I look at the night sky and see the stars, I imagine the stars I can’t see, the sun rotating, the moon rotating, the earth rotating. It seems more real than the blue sky of the day, there is a wideness in its depth, like the wideness of God’s mercy.
I have rotated. Turned towards the living God. Forgiven. Restored. Full Stop living.
It is all about You, not me.