Stumbling Along

There is an area ecumenical Men’s Palm Sunday Breakfast every year and this year RCC hosted it.  Worship started at 7 a.m. and the breakfast followed it in our Fellowship Hall.  Here is my meditation from that service!

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Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
Luke 19:28-40
Luke 22:7-20

Stumbling Along

It is truly a blessing to be with you all in worship this morning.

I was told to keep to short, especially with the smell of breakfast cooking wafting in from Fellowship Hall. I will try to oblige!

I can honestly say that I have never preached in front of a group of 100 men before (and I never took that class in seminary) – so bear with me!

I was preparing for my Palm Sunday sermon this week when I came across a paragraph written by the Rev. Kathryn Matthews Huey, who is on staff at national office at the United Church of Christ. She reflected on Palm Sunday and wrote:

This week, as we stumble towards Jerusalem, we can rely on God’s grace to carry us every step of the way. Today, though, in this one moment, we can make a way for Jesus, we can throw our cloaks on the ground and sing our songs of praise, and trust the unknown future to the God who works good in every circumstance and in every holy week of our lives. {Kathryn Matthews Huey, Sermon Seeds Year C: Inclusive Reflections for Preaching from the United Church of Christ, pg. 105}

I loved that line, “stumble towards Jerusalem.” After all – that is what the Christian journey is all about, isn’t it? Actually, that is what life is really like, isn’t it?

Stumbling along.

Standing at difficult crossroads.

Falling down, dusting ourselves off and standing back up again.

Making choices – some better than others.

Committing sin, asking for forgiveness, feeling showered with grace.

Asking God to sustain us through the difficult moments that we inevitably will encounter.

Looking back on those moments in our lives that we wish we could have handle differently.

Feeling shame; feeling pride; feeling love; feeling hate.

Listening to God’s still speaking voice telling us that it is going to be okay, assuring of his grace, calling us to be his ministers in this world, to proclaim the Gospel to all the people.

Life is not perfect; it isn’t even close. I wish I could stand up here with some tried and true conclusions about how to achieve perfection and live in never-ending happiness. But the truth is – I don’t have a clue. I am not sure that any of us do. We are human beings who constantly fall short, but who are saved by the grace of God every single day. We do not have the tools to achieve perfection. We do not have the props to facilitate never-ending happiness.

But here is what we do have.

We have the Bible – a book filled to the brim and overflowing with stories, parables, lessons, songs and wisdom.

We have our churches – communities rich with history, bursting with life and filled with people who love and support one another.

We have our families and our friends, people who we may not always agree with, but who truly love who we are as children of God.

We have worship, music and prayer; the ability to connect with God always.

We have the magnificent font of living water that we are united around and a table where we share a meal together.

We have the ability to learn from the past, reflect on the present and hope for the future.

We have the Body of Christ. We are the Body of Christ.

Today we will worship together. We will sing together. We will share a meal together (soon – I promise!). We will laugh together. Later on, we will gather with our churches, wave our palms and shout, “Hosanna!” And we will know that, despite the difficulties we might face throughout our journey through life, we will never be alone.

We are nearing the end of this Lenten season, entering Holy Week and making our final journey to the cross. And while we each walk our own individual journeys, we stand together in Christian love.

Thanks be to God!
Amen.

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