I just got home from our community's American Cancer Society Relay for Life. A few months ago, when I was asked to give the opening invocation at the Luminaria Ceremony, I never could have guessed how poignant the opportunity would be this week. Just this week we have begun to mourn the death of a beloved member of our church and this community who died on Monday after a two year battle with melanoma. Just this week we have struggled to wrap our brains and our faith around the news that a woman who was making strides in the treatment of her ovarian cancer is now diagnosed with brain cancer. And just this week we have found ourselves rejoicing and giving thanks that another member of our church family received the "all clear" news from his doctors following clear PET scans. What I thought was going to be a sort of routine "civic spirituality" prayer turned into something completely different for me, and I didn't even realize it until I got up there to lead the prayer.
Preaching can be like that, too, can't it? Whether it's the crazy coincidence of a well-timed lectionary passage or words that are heard that we never realized we spoke, preaching can turn into something completely different, something poignant, that we never even expected. Thank GOD for the Holy Spirit!
Where are you as the task is before you today? Are you tossing and turning on stormy seas? Are you staring up at Goliath wondering how you ever got chosen for the task? What obstacles are in your way? What gladness or unity can you sing about this day?
The party is open. All are invited. Join us as we point to the hope in darkness.
(I took that picture tonight as I walked the track in the Memorial Lap.)