The ocean in a cup!


Hello friends,

Last week, some of us on staff at Westminster Presbyterian Church were giving ourselves metaphorical high-fives, rejoicing in our wonderful decision to delay the start of our Wednesday evening activities as week into the new year. Rather than start last week, we decided to start tomorrow night, to give us time to ease back into the swing of having a full time job before trying to figure out what our next moves would be.

That was all well and good, and probably would have continued to be well and good, had I actually taken the time to ease myself back into the swing of having a full time job. Instead, I spent most of last week trolling the internet looking for hilarious youtube videos. The result? It's Tuesday, I have messages to deliver on Wednesday and Sunday, and I am totally stuck. Way to go J!

Actually, it's not the problem you would expect. Or at least it's not the problem I expected. You would expect after three weeks off, I would just be out of practice. You would think that after a few moments of opening up the bible and/or my favorite commentary, bouncing the "sermon writing ball" off the wall a few times, and busting out my trademarked yellow legal pad would be enough to get the blood flowing again. But I don't think my writers block (at the moment at least) is due to a lack of discipline, or even a lack of things to say.

I think it's that I have too much to say!

That blank page is not intimidating because it's blank. That page is intimidating because there is so much I want it to be. There is so much that I want to communicate through the lost art of the sermon that 20 minutes just isn't enough to contain the whole thing. When I sit down and open my bible, I'm struck by the unyielding grace of the God of the universe, who in spite of everything has decided to share his love and his grace with me through his son. I want to try to find a way to help other people feel the way I feel when I think about that. I want to try to express the joy that's going on inside my bones every time I say the name of Jesus out-loud. And the whole time, this blank page is staring at me, almost laughing at me, daring me to write something down, to make physical something that is so deeply spiritual.

The blank page dares me to try to fit the ocean in a cup.

And so I'll do what I always do. I'll wrestle for a week, and try to get as much out as I can. I'll probably be disappointed. I'll probably think that the messages being delivered this week aren't up to snuff. And this isn't a pride thing, like I'm saying it's not good enough in the hopes that the congregation around me will tell me how great it was and I can feel pretty cool. I'm not even talking about substance or style at the moment. It's like Peter writes, I am filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, and at the moment, I'm feeling the frustration of not expressing the inexpressible.

Anybody out there here with me? And if so, do you have a good text for Sunday? :)