"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
Tuesday, November 28, 2006 Suffering, humility and servanthood
The finest preacher I know (and I've heard a LOT of sermons) is Becca Stevens. She's also one of the finest priests and just finest people I know. She preaches and lives the Gospel with such light.
Every fall break, ECM goes down to be with the women of Magdalene House -- the amazing community of women breaking the cycle of abuse that comes with the life of street prostitution in Nashville, TN.
I checked out the sermon from the Oct. 22 -- the Sunday the ECM students were there last month -- and it is one of her very best. It's called "suffering, humility and servanthood" and it is as good a sermon as I have ever heard about the Christian life.
You can hear it yourself by going here - it's the audio of the whole service, so if you're in a hurry, you'll have to fast forward to the sermon. But if you've got time, listen from the beginning because the spirit of the congregation shows through in the liturgy and music.
She closes her sermon with these words -- so if you don't have time to listen, you can just sit with these:
"God forgive us when we're ever not humbled that people ever let us serve them. And God forgive us when our theology becomes a position to defend and not a story of serving others in our lives. May our theology be our story unfolding in service. And may God continue to get us to come round right to be compassionate to others in their suffering, to be humble in our own lives and to desire to serve our God."
| Mike at 11/28/2006 11:30:00 AM
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"Christ's example is being
demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy,
which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here.
If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest
of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't,
it will be irrelevant."