Earlier this month, I gave this sermon on a rather interesting day. It was September 11th, the first Sunday after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, my parents were visiting, and Ellen (one of the Tsedaqah trustees) came to hear me preach. This was the first sermon my parents ever heard me give. My Dad recorded the full sermon so this is a transcript of the actual sermon I gave which was much longer than the notes I originally wrote.
So, 21 years ago today, I was four years old. I was at preschool like any other weekday. nothing was really special about that day. That is until suddenly all of our teachers moved us into one main classroom and suddenly we’re going in and out of the room. I am far too young and was far too young to remember the actual events of the day of 9/11, but I remember this fear and the palpable confusion of what was happening because we only lived a few miles away from the Pentagon in Northern Virginia. It was close to home. But as a four-year-old, I didn’t know that the geopolitical situation of the world was changing but I knew something wasn’t Right. but even there’s something wasn’t right My life continued on much the same way. Kept going with preschool. kept growing up.
Last Thursday, as I sat in my room, cleaning and preparing for my parents to come visit me. I had a sudden heart-sinking moment when the news I had playing in the background suddenly switched from commentary to the announcement that a queen had died. Hearing God saved the queen in the background suddenly made me realize major change was happening. But in that moment, there are also new things happening. Suddenly there is a king and a queen concert. a change was happening. And in the past few days, life has continued on. My parents came and visited. They are here this Sunday. Even though that moment felt heart-stopping and in a weird way like the world was ending as we knew it. Life is Continuing on.
When I was thinking about what to say today, the song Amazing Grace came into my head. thinking about how over the past few days and even in the darkness there have been moments of grace and things are light even if the geopolitical world is changing. There is so much fear and change and change that keeps happening, no matter what we do. But there’s always grace. God’s grace will lead us through. no matter what’s happening in the greater world. we continue living. when we are lost in our own lives. We continue living. There are moments where we are the lost sheep. You’re by ourselves in the wilderness. But in the end, we are found. We are found through grace. that grace might be through Somebody coming to our aid and helping us with something that we’ve been struggling with. Someone noticing our struggle. it might be a serendipitous moment where everything kind of aligns and suddenly, you know where you’re going.
In the beginning of the pandemic, I was still in university When I was getting ready to graduate, I had no idea what I was going to do. There were no jobs available. unemployment was skyrocketing. I had no option really of anything to do with my international studies degree. At a time when everyone was stuck in the local. But when I went to go clean out my apartment and Morgantown West Virginia. I finished my last exam and get everything and move back in with my parents Again. I was sitting in my friend’s basement typing away. Press submit. Took a deep breath. Opened my email to check if any of my grades had come through. And sitting right at the top was an email from Virginia theological. in this moment of extreme fear, right When I was done and now had no idea what I’m doing, a light came into my life. a year later When I was realizing that it was not the right time for me to be in seminary and I needed something else to do. I logged on to look at when the gas applications were due to the young adult service for which I’m now doing turns out they were due three days later, and I had just enough time to submit it. little moments of grace and serendipity, show up all throughout our lives.
And even now my life here, I’ve met so many people who are helping guide me and for me and figure out what I’m doing in my life. And even though the past three years have been insane, geopolitically. constant pain and so many countries. an entire pandemic. There are still moments of grace and growth happening in the world as well. So even though we might get lost in the fear of change around us in the greater world feel, it feels very important for us to remember that grace will guide us home as it says, in amazing grace. And that we will find our way, no matter how long it takes because God will always be there for us.
One thought on “Grace and Hope – Sermon”
I love the way you connected the mourning of the nation with that if the USA after September 11th. We may feel like we are lost but God is always with us, seeking us as a shepherd looks for the one lost sheep.