Breathless since returning to the USA on Thursday, I launched my first sermon on God’s promises this morning at Calvary Memorial Church, Oak Park. My reactions over the past three days include:
- Gratitude on Friday for another meeting with church friends, in a snow-bound scout hut, which really helped root me back into fellowship. Not the snow-bound part (!) but the hour of sharing about promises and our dreams for the church in 2008.
- Panic on Saturday as careful sermon preparations made in London over Christmas unraveled. Many preachers know the dread of hard work falling so short of the glory….and the need for a fresh word with new dependence. I completely re-worked the sermon.
- Wonder on Sunday, entering under the banner over the main doors, into such prayerful expectation, with a packed church (especially in the second service). There was extraordinary attentiveness and many spoke to me afterwards about how God’s promises, and some of the stories I told, had impacted them. Some said they would email me.
- Thanksgiving at the words God gave me. From Acts 2:14-21, I showed how God’s Promises are Spiritual, Personal and Communal. At one point I mentioned how the movie Dead Poets Society made the Latin tag famous: Carpe Diem – Seize the Day. But for Christian believers, the challenge is CARPE PROMISSUM – Seize the Promise! (Shortly, the sermon will be posted on Calvary TV at calvarymemorial.com.)
I know I need to remain sensitive and open in order for God to use these next sermons aright. Next Sunday we tackle God’s promises about happiness, focusing on Psalm 1. A video testimony is being filmed. Keep praying and Carpe Promissum!