Mother’s Day means child dedications. Child dedications mean I freak out more than I do over any other part of the service. “What if I get the name wrong?” “Everyone is counting on me.” “Even the GREAT grandmother is here!?!?!” “What if I forget the parents’ names?” The stress is nearly insurmountable. Even with practice the names, eve scouting out which parents are which before the service, I end bumble through the names and prayers HOPING that the families feel the least bit honored.
And then we go on with the service. . .
Reconciliation. God making right what we never could, though that certainly won’t stop us from trying. Such a rich and important word always leaves me feeling less-than-adequate to preach. You want a joke? You got it. A story or two? Absolutely. Talk about my failures? I can do that for the next fifteen days without stopping. Try to communicate the great act of God to restore us to him? Hmmm. I don’t know if I can take that on. . .
Like a peasant handling the King’s finest and most expensive items is how I feel talking about reconciliation. “Maybe I’ll break it,” I wonder. I never will. I can stretch it, push it, step on it, drop it, and it will never be misshapen. Even my inability to speak about it as I should makes it no less beautiful.
At it’s core is that Christ made us right with God by dying. The longer I live the simpler and more wonderful that truth becomes. I was far away and he came to me. Jeff’s testimony was, to me, the best part (and thanks to Dean Frick for saying, “It’s not fair when you get someone to preach half your sermon for you!”). Even “insiders” must recognize that you aren’t born an insider. We’re all born outsiders, citizens of a foreign land unrelated to Jesus and not caring whatsoever about it.
But God saw fit to change that and extend life to us. And the result is beautiful. A group of people made right by God.