I owe all of you an apology. And I will begin my sermon Sunday with an apology. I was not satisfied with my sermon last Sunday. By most measures, the sermon was “good enough.” But, as a letter that was sent to all of our leaders said, “good enough” is never really good enough. I pulled the punch in my sermon when it came to a new vision. I was scared. I was afraid of having you think that what I feel God is calling us to do and be, I was afraid you would think it’s stupid. So, I preached a sermon that points us in that direction loosely, without actually sharing a “new vision.” Even pastors (maybe especially pastors) care deeply about what you think and don’t want to be laughed at. So, we play it safe.
I left the church Sunday dissatisfied with my sermon. I sensed many of you were looking for more, too. I’m sorry for that. This Sunday, I will preach about supporting the vision and the ministry of Magnolia Methodist in 2020. To be clear, this is not the vision of Magnolia Methodist…yet. I hope it will be. This will just be me talking about what I’m feeling God is calling us to. It will not be OUR vision until we put in the time together discerning what that is. But a vision has to start somewhere. So, I will share what is on my heart. And we will go from there, together.
I hope you will join us for worship. I hope you will bring your pledge card and bring them forward after the sermon to be prayed over. I hope we support our budget fully and beyond so that we can do more in our community than we have planned. I hope that the sermon will give us all something to get excited about. (I know I already am.) I pray you’ll bring your friends and neighbors with you to hear together what could be.
Just know this, God does not give small visions. We serve a God who told a simple man and his wife that he would make a nation of them. Israel, the Jewish faith, it all began with a promise given to Abraham thousands of years ago. So, if you’re first reaction to the sermon Sunday is “Never in a million years will that happen,” or “That’s too big, too expensive, too whatever,” GOOD! It just might mean that the vision is big enough, audacious enough, crazy enough that God is the only one from whom it could come. Or it might mean I’m crazy, but I already knew that.
See you Sunday! (Don’t forget, 1488 at 249 will be closed down again this weekend. Plan accordingly.)