sermons, songs, etceteras
This was the first sermon I preached as pastoral intern at Oak Grove Lutheran Church in Richfield, MN on September 19, 2021. Live video can be accessed here.
Mark 9:30-37 | James 3:13--4:3, 7-8
May the God who gathers Her children to Her breast and watches us sleep, nourish us now. Amen.
Good morning, Church, and thank you for welcoming me so warmly these past couple weeks as I’ve begun to settle in here. You may or may not know this, but writing sermons isn’t terribly easy until you’re like Pastor Tom or Brice, with years of practice, and even then I imagine it’s still work. For me, it always begins with a knot of ideas in my mind and heart, like a tangle of necklaces at the bottom of a jewelry box. It takes time and focus to find each string and pull gently enough to un-mess the mess without breaking it all.
This week, as I sat in my office to begin pulling at the threads, one of the daycare babies started screaming inconsolably. I turned my music up a bit, but it was useless. She was louder than both my music and my mind, which you’d know is a pretty incredible feat if you could hear my mind. And to be clear, I wasn’t mad about it; It wasn’t that she was bugging me; I genuinely love the sound of babies, so I was just distracted. Her cries were like a siren calling me. So I went into the gym, found her, and I crouched down, looked her in the eyes, and just said hi, how are ya. and she quieted. So with staff permission, I gave her some face time for a couple minutes while the daycare worker cleaned up some things. Then when she was done, the staff member picked her up again and I went back to work.
It’s funny how kids have a way of bringing us back to earth when we’re busy in the “very important work” of adulting and pontificating and theologizing in offices with closed doors and lots of academic books, where we hunker down to look for insight into the messes around us.