It’s Homecoming weekend in the suburb of Dallas TX where I have spent the last week enjoying some time with beloved family. The unexpected? A surprise visit from my niece who is a freshman at Texas A&M. Also unexpected: her younger sister came down with a cold, and then I caught the same virus. We are all better now.
Tonight, I am looking forward to the Homecoming game — Go Dragons! — and all the “Friday Night Lights” fun of Texas high school football. The younger niece will be crashing (clashing?) cymbals in her high school band drum line and wearing one of those mums. It’s her first. From a boy!
Revised Common Lectionary preacher that I am, I see that the rich man’s eternal homecoming took an unexpected (to him) turn when he ended up needing salvation from Lazarus. Where is God With Us when we face the unexpected? Especially the unwelcome unexpected?
What of the people who are looking for “home” on a Sunday morning when they come to their church? Some expect predictability; some crave a blessed surprise. The gospel of Jesus seems to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” All of those people are in our pews.
May God bless all of you preachers who dare to bring good news that calls people to re-connect with authentic self and eternal values. May some of that good news splash on each of us as well.
Please do make this space your sermon prep home for awhile as we work on worship and preaching things together.
For a couple of hours in the late morning / early afternoon, I will be flying home to New Orleans. I have no doubt that all of you will keep the coffee pot going, the snack table filled, and the encouragement flowing freely.
Welcome to the party!