Monday, June 14, 2010

Blessed and Burdened

It was a blessed Sunday. One of the pillar couples of our church was lamenting their final Sunday in a four-decade journey with our church. The worship leader at our church noted their stress level was overflowing.

He shared the sentiment; his family was one month and a few dollars into starting a new business.

Another couple was dealing with a recent disability, complicated by allergic reactions.

Another couple was learning to live separated by several states; another was recently widowed.

Several people were suffering from economic uncertainty, vocational demands, and relational strains.

And I had to preach a sermon.

Blessed were we--the poor, the pained, the puny, the pitiful--because we prayed. Our worship transitioned from singing in seats to interceding in the round. We stormed the stage, circled the hurting, and voiced petitions. A sermon ensued, resolving in the sacred practice of communion.

The rest of the day, I was exhausted. My head ached. My eyes burned. My throat itched. And a merciless critique of my sermon looped through my mind. I couldn't help but attribute these symptoms to the prayer time earlier in the day. It was as if I had absorbed some of the stress/pain/heartbreak/anxiety/suffering of those hurting in our church.

I suspect I was not alone in this. In the family of God, both burdens and blessings are shared.


michelle hendrix-swords said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
michelle hendrix-swords said...

i used your sermon for devotions tonight at work and one of the kids said, "i've never connected abraham to jesus to blessings."

sorry, i removed my post because i wnated to add to it, so above is the original post and below is the add to it.

i love it when i can see the wheels turning in their heads and i know that they are realizing for the first time scripture is connected.

4suchatimeasthis said...

It was a blessed day. Thank you for being willing to let the Holy Spirit direct us in an "unplanned" order of service. It is moving and powerful to see God's children in prayer.