sermons, songs, etceteras
This sermon and accompanying song were originally preached on January 16, 2022 at Oak Grove Lutheran Church in Richfield, MN. The live recording may be viewed here.
Song Lyrics are included at the end of the sermon
Scripture Texts for the Second Sunday in Epiphany are:
Isaiah 62:1-5 | Psalm 36:5-10 | 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 | John 2:1-11
You probably noticed that I’m dressed a bit differently today, and that’s because I will be playing piano in a bit. But first, I want to tell you about a message God has been speaking to me for literal decades and stirred itself into a song this week.
As far back as I can remember, the scriptures that have pierced straight to my deepest self were the ones that said I mattered, that my gifts were important, that while there is no-THING new under the sun, there are new souls born every day, with new particularities blooming all the time to shed new light and cast new shadows on our understanding of ancient things. I held tight to signs throughout scripture telling me that I couldn’t ask for too much or BE too much — but that my imagination was probably too safe and too small for a God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to Christ’s power at work within us, and whose plans for those God loves and calls are well beyond anything our eyes have seen, ears have heard, or our minds conceived.
These promises were important, because I grew up in the deep end of scarcity where i learned to be satisfied with crumbs, and never ask for more. And because I long believed, and to a degree still do if I’m honest, that there would never be enough space or breath for me to exist in my fullness, when I already bring so much muchness wherever I go. I believed what I was told, which was that I had to choose: motherhood OR career. school OR work. Music OR pastoral vocation. Queerness OR God. There wasn’t enough to say yes to both or all. So I learned to be satisfied with what fell at my feet, and to fear Want.
So it is quite something that in today’s gospel, the invitation to Go Big or Go Home blossoms again, and for no other reason than joy.
For Here we see God, in God’s first God-act of john’s gospel, giving excessively good abundance to people who didn’t ask for anything.