sermons, songs, etceteras
This sermon was originally preached on May 15, 2022 at Oak Grove Lutheran Church in Richfield, MN. The service may be viewed here. Song lyrics are included below.
Fifth Sunday in Easter Lectionary Texts:
Acts 11:1-18 | Psalm 148 | Revelation 21:1-6
Gospel Text : John 13:21-35
Good morning, Beloveds. Today I’m going to go off script and take you back in time for a minute to my previous life. As you may know, each pastoral intern is responsible to create and design some kind of project during our year with you. I know one of your former interns designed a Lenten discussion series, and another created a beautiful prayer wall in the Spiritual Direction room.
I stumbled upon what’s become my project somewhat accidentally — or, perhaps a better word would be providentially — when Tom invited me to sing a solo back in November on All Saints Sunday. As I searched for songs that would be appropriate to the day, what happened instead was that I wrote one of my own. Not long after that, I wrote another that followed the Baptism of Jesus and his first miracle at Cana, marking the beginning of his ministry.
It’s been a long time since songs have come to me like that and more or less written themselves. After my son was born and we moved here from Nashville where I’d spent eight years as a professional recording artist — aka a rock star — I thought that part of my life was done. When I entered seminary four years ago, I felt certain my songwriting days were over. So I was surprised, delighted, and overcome, really, when songs poured out of me in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, two years ago on the 25th of this month. After that, songs went quiet again until they started blooming again this year. And that’s how I decided that for my project, I would continue writing songs to mark significant moments in Jesus’s life and in the life of the Church, to leave with you when my time here is over.