Friday, October 7, 2016

Sermon Series..."Living in the Mess"

I just listened to a very moving sermon on the church of the resurrection website…not by Adam Hamilton but by a woman named Penny Ellwood. I looked for the GPS (Grow, Pray and Study guide)…but there wasn't one for this sermon series. I loved what she had to say about how to “live in the mess.”
She talked about different life events, some hypothetical, some from her own life and some from the lives of people she knows. Her most moving story was the story of a young seminary student she worked with at one of the satellite campuses. While he was dating the woman he is now married to, her mother died. He went to the funeral out of state where he met her family for the first time. 
Her dad became distraught at the gravesite….so distraught he actually jumped into the open grave; on his knees, crying hysterically. Nobody knew what to do. The grave was deep and nobody could physically reach him. The young man....Joe....didn't know what to do either but he did the only thing he could think of; he jumped down into the muddy grave, in his new suit and simply embraced her father, wept with him and provided a shoulder to cry on. Like Job’s friends (before they became miserable comforters) Joe sat in the ashes with his girlfriend's father. 
When the grieving man finally calmed down, they were so deep in the muddy grave Joe wondered how they would ever get out….and then he looked up and saw many hands reaching down to help pull them out. The analogy is touching, poignant and inspiring.
It seems like an interesting series because we all….ALL….end up in the pit of despair at times in our lives. Although throughout the Bible we are assured that God is with us always…even in the “pits,” we are comforted when another human meets us in our pain, sits with us in our ashes and extends a hand up when we are ready to climb out.


KC Bob said...

What a beautiful story.

Cindi said...

Whenever I have time to listen to a podcast or sermon....I often default to the sermons on the church of the resurrection website. I know you attend that church...or one of the satellite churches...correct? The teachings are so edifying. I also listened to Pastor Hamilton's sermon about the UMC general conference in May where the hot button issue was inclusion (or not) of practicing homosexuals. His views are just so gracious and reasonable. Since that is the fastest growing and largest (I think) UMC church in the country, it gives me hope that so many Christians are drawn to that kind of gracious, reasonable, inclusive, loving doctrine.

Her sermon was very good. Did you hear it?

KC Bob said...

We do go to the downtown campus Cindi. We also attend the online campus. The church is the largest UMC in the country. Even our downtown campus has grown from 165 in 2010 when we moved here to about a thousand.

Adam is a rare teacher. I have taught many of his books at the church. I am currently leading our small group through the 1/2 Truths book/videos. My two favorites books are Making Sense of the Bible and Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White.

I have loved Adam's messages about human sexuality. He is transparent about his own journey and does a wonderful job of interpreting the verses that many use to condemn being gay.

Hope you are well and enjoying the weekend.