Occasionally the Spirit literally grabs hold while I’m writing my sermon and almost demands that I do something crazy with it. By demands, I mean that the thought just doesn’t let go of me and really demands that I act on it. It sounds kind of weird, I know, but there you have it.
Last week, my sermon writing on Jesus being led into the wilderness by the Spirit and tempted by Satan seriously wasn’t going too well. Then this crazy thought came into my head… if Jesus was led by the Spirit, certainly She must have an interesting perspective on the whole experience. So, theatrically speaking, she took over my body during the sermon on Sunday and gave the community a nice little lecture on Lessons in the Wilderness. If you’d like to hear the whole thing, simply click here.
My continuing (no, this is not new to me, I just need to be reminded) lesson in all of this is two-fold. One, it is okay to let the Spirit lead you to places that seem a bit crazy. Doing things like preaching in character – especially a character that has a British accent – make me exceedingly nervous. But the sermon never could have been what it was if I didn’t follow. Perhaps Jesus couldn’t have been who he was if he hadn’t followed the Spirit out into the wilderness. Go figure, it’s just possible that stepping out of our comfort zones, risking, surrendering to our intuition, the Spirit, our hearts (call it what you will) provides us with our most meaningful, growth-inducing experiences.
And my second lesson, which I will probably have to learn over and over again until the day I die, is that I don’t have to be perfect. Duh. Certainly those of you who know me were under no illusions about my perfection, or lack thereof. And, though I’m not supposed to admit this, my sermon Sunday was far from perfect! Still, people listened, laughed, and there was even a smattering of applause at the end. Perfection does not ensure learning or affection or spiritual growth. In fact, perfection may actually be a stumbling block to all of those. It seems that if I do my best and share from my heart, and if people come with an open heart and mind (this is a two-way street) that the Spirit is able to work miracles with that.
There are times when I have some very unkind commentary on where the Spirit deems it necessary to lead me, still I’ve always come out the other side blessed.
Happy Lent, Kaye