Praise the LORD! Praise the Sovereign from the heavens!
Praise the Great One, all angels and celestial beings!
Praise the Eternal Light, you sun and moon and stars!
Can you imagine being the sun — 1,391,000 km in diameter, more than 4,500,000,000 years old, the center of the solar system, the hope of long nights, the dream of cold winters, the marker of time — and yet having the humility to sing the unrestrained praises of the Eternal Light?
The Spirit told me to go with them and
not to make a distinction between them and us.
And the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us.
Can you imagine the joy of living into your call — the relief of your gifts and purpose coming into sync after a long struggle, the satisfaction of trusting your path when once you were frozen by doubts, the confidence of claiming the work that is yours to do — and yet having the humility (and noncompetitive spirit) to praise God for others who are also gifted, purposeful, confident, called, Spirit-filled, and traveling the same path, perhaps even doing the same work?
Jesus said, “The Son of Earth is glorified,
therefore God is glorified. You will dwell in my glory,
but I tell you: if you love one another,
everyone else can see my glory.”
Can you imagine longing for God’s presence — striving after the wisdom of the Spirit, studying to understand in the mysteries of Jesus, wrestling through every hour of the day and night just to know God’s nearness — and yet having the humility to show up for the work of love no matter how evasive God’s glory might feel?
The praise of God, the recognition of what the Spirit is doing in others, the daily labor of love: easily and often, our egos get in the way of these.
The soaring glory and the rousing call of this Sunday’s Revised Common Lectionary texts require our humility. The first things — earth and heaven, life and death, joys and sorrows — these first things necessitate humbled and ever-repenting egos, until such a time as the first things pass away and the new things spring up for eternity.
It’s the humility (and rich potential for ego interference) of this Sunday’s texts that attract my imagination. What about you, RevGals and Pals? How are you prepping the Revised Common Lectionary texts for this coming Sunday’s sermon? What themes, subtexts, questions, current events, and contextual particularities will be shaping the preaching moment this Sunday?
Share your thoughts, your blogged prep, your hurdles and inspirations in the comments as we prepare to preach.
Rachel G. Hackenberg‘s book with co-author Martha Spong, Denial Is My Spiritual Practice (and Other Failures of Faith), searches for faith through life’s trials. Rachel has also written Writing to God and Sacred Pause.
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