Sorry about the delay on posting sermons! I have no excuse. It's just been hectic but that is how it usually is always. This is the sermon one, which is more a meditation than a sermon, that I held Shrove Sunday. God bless.
At its best a sermon will bring comfort, challenge, enlighten and/or excite those who are listening to it. That’s what all preachers strive for and there most certainly are just plain awesome sermons out there.
The very basic problem with a sermon, any sermon, is - at the same time - that it is an interpretation of what someone or several someones think of a Bible reading or several Bible readings. Nothing wrong with that – seriously – but, the thing is, that what a service like this sometimes lacks is space to be together with God, listening to Him. That can of course be done at a different setting and yet to me there is much to be said about coming together and just listening. A little like in a silent retreat.
A text, and today that text is the beautiful description of God’s love written by St. Paul, needs to be conveyed to the person who is listening to it (or reading it) in a way that allows it to breathe. Breathing to me is the rhythm of the Holy Spirit.
If you attended the Shrove Sunday service last year you might guess that what will happen now is the following:
I’ll read the 13th chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians and then there will be 5 minutes of silent meditation. I’ll then read it again and we will, again, have 5 minutes of silent meditation.
You can if you’d like to come and kneel in front of the altar or you can walk quietly around around the chapel. The idea is to let God speak to you through the words of Paul and gently start to lead you towards the period of Lent in the coming couple of days.
What if I could speak all languages of humans and of angels?
If I did not love others, I would be nothing more than a noisy gong
or a clanging cymbal.
What if I could prophesy and understand all secrets and all knowledge?
And what if I had faith that moved mountains?
I would be nothing, unless I loved others.
What if I gave away all that I owned
and let myself be burned alive?
I would gain nothing, unless I loved others.
Love is kind and patient,
never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude.
Love isn't selfish or quick tempered.
It doesn't keep a record of wrongs that others do.
Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil.
Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.
Love never fails!
Everyone who prophesies will stop, and unknown languages
will no longer be spoken. All that we know will be forgotten.
We don't know everything, and our prophecies are not complete.
But what is perfect will someday appear,
and what isn't perfect will then disappear.
When we were children, we thought and reasoned
as children do.
But when we grew up, we quit our childish ways.
Now all we can see of God is like a cloudy picture in a mirror.
Later we will see him face to face.
We don't know everything, but then we will,
just as God completely understands us.
For now there are faith,
hope, and love.
But of these three,
the greatest is love.