During the Kansas City convention this past week, I was invited to preach a sermon at the contemplative service on Saturday evening. After a long week, full of many different emotions, I felt called to reflect on the consequences of our actions, and the pain in the midst of our church community. Here is basically the text of my sermon.
Sermon for convention
this is a picture of my delegate table. You can see a bit of the back of my head.
Good evening friends, it is good to gather in this service of contemplation and worship this evening.
We have come to the last night of convention. Tomorrow, we return home. Back to the usual rhythms of life, whatever those might look like for you. Janeen did a wonderful job expressing some of the emotions that you may have brought to this space this evening-joy and exhaustion and grief and hope and all the rest.
For me, I'd like to start with a confession. I have wept more this week than I have in any week since my father died 6 years ago. I have felt the pain because of the choices of the church and how we treat one another. So I have a simple prayer for my sermon this evening. I pray that I might not cause any more pain in this service.
So with that, lets turn to the scripture text. We've been working through the story of Luke 24, the Emmaus Road. We've reflected about being on the way together. And Janeen, as she planned this service months ago, thought, since it's the last night of convention, it might be good to reflect on the end of our passage, and to talk about what happened after Cleopas and his friend dashed back to the city of Jerusalem, where Jesus, equally fleet of foot, came to the disciples gathered together in the upper room.
There is much to chew on here-the disciples with their disbelieving joy, the traditional “Shalom Alchem”, “Peace Be With You” greeting, Jesus eating the fish so resonate of the feeding of the 5000, and the nets left by the sea, the scriptures opened a second time to explain the journey that the Messiah had to take. But what caught me when I read this text months ago, and where I want to draw you as well is to the hands and feet that Jesus showed to his disciples. It's an ancient tradition to contemplate the wounds of Christ. To reflect on the pain of our savior.