Merry Christmas to you all!!
I'm in the process of cleaning up my Mac's desktop, and I ran across this sermon I gave at the North Georgia Annual Conference this year. The sermon text was first Samuel. Since I haven't posted much lately, (I actually started working on a new post this morning, be patient) I figured you might enjoy reading/skimming it:
Tonight I draw my inspiration from a sermon given by the Rev. Denise Bratcher.
I’ve grown up in Georgia. And for as long as I can remember, every Georgia summer brings with it bright sunshine, juicy watermelon, trips to the lake and temperatures well into the nineties. Summertime also brings drought.
Plants wither. The lawn bakes brown. Idle conversations invariably turn to lamenting the lack of rain and speculating when the next shower might occur.
My granddaddy in South Georgia is good at predicting the weather. I don’t really know how he does it; often times he’ll look up at the sky and feel the wind on his face and predict – to the hour – when the rain will come.
Have you ever been outside and just known a storm was coming? The air hangs heavy. The color of the sky turns. The clouds change direction. You can even feel the air pressure drop if you stand still long enough.
One of the sweetest smells is the smell of rain drifting in on the southwest wind on an August afternoon. There is nothing that compares to it. After a long, hot, and dry Georgia summer, when it hasn’t rained substantially in three months, you smell that rain and know the drought will soon be over. After going so long without it, when it comes, I feel like running out in the yard to dance around in the droplets and taste the rain on my tongue.
It’s the kind of rain you can feel coming.
I think that same feeling – that feeling of being on the brink of change – can happen in circumstances other than the weather.
I’m no prophet. And I’m not sure I want to be a prophet because prophets are often painfully and dangerously unpopular.
But as I contemplate where the church is right now in this post-modern culture, and where it might need to go, I feel a change in the air. I feel a new wind blowing through the church. And my senses tell me that the church’s climate is changing.
I’m not quite sure yet whether this change is a ravaging storm or the sweet rains that end a drought. But I do believe that the wind of opportunity, the wind of new beginnings, is blowing. (click to continue)