Some days the sermon just does not finish well. What has been laid on my heart to proclaim just does not connect. It is a painful thought, to realize I may have let down God’s word, and a humbling one.
Thankfully, the Holy Spirit is at work in other ways in worship than simply through the preached word - in the prayers, the scripture, the confessions, certainly the Holy Supper, and in song.
As I was finishing the sermon today, I knew it was not going as I had hoped. The words to describe the thoughts in my head were not connecting. This was the planned ending:
Maybe we wonder about our own worthiness. Maybe we hope no one notices the details of our life. Maybe we don’t even know we are in need of Jesus’ living water. Rest assured, we are worthwhile to Jesus. We are loved by him and of extreme value to him. He has all the time just for you and me and wants us to know him and believe in him. Every encounter with Jesus may not be a home-run, so hearing the different reactions of the people who encountered Jesus on earth is helpful to see that no matter where we are in our understanding, Jesus loves us, desires for us to know him more deeply, and is here for us everyday.I’m not really sure how the ending actually went, but that wasn’t it. But then we began to sing the hymn, You Are Mine, by David Haas. And the words of that hymn said what I had failed to:
I will come to you in the silence, I will lift you from all your fear. You will hear my voice, I claim you as my choice. Be still and know I am here. Do not be afraid, I am with you. I have called you each by name. Come and follow me, I will bring you home. I love you and you are mine.Oh God, thank you!