This morning I once again had the opportunity to preach at 1st Reformed Church here in Denver, CO. I was a little nervous about preaching on the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, especially when the lectionary text I chose was focused on forgiving those who have wronged us. Thankfully, God is gracious and gave me the right words to say! I spent most of this week reading commentaries, reading Bibles, writing out ideas, praying, and writing my sermon. I spent the better part of Friday and Saturday holed up in coffee shops trying to finish my sermon. I experienced writers block Friday and thus ended up not finishing the sermon until Saturday at about 12:30p.m. This left me with a lot less time to practice than I had wanted, but God is good and everything went well.
I preached on Matthew 18:21-35, the parable of the unmerciful servant. I challenged the congregation that there are three things we can learn from this parable.
(1) We are sinners,
(2) God gives us grace,
(3) By extending forgiveness to those around us, we can truly experience the grace of God in our own lives.
I had a blast preaching, and I am really beginning to enjoy the routine of preparing and delivering a sermon. If anyone is interested in seeing my manuscript please just let me know, and I can e-mail you a copy. I tried to video my sermon but the battery on my flip camera died.
I want to end this post by sharing a funny story that happened while I was getting dressed this morning for church. Sometimes our ability to laugh at ourselves can be just what we need to release some tension and calm our nerves. I had put on my slacks and dress shirt and decided that I should wear a tie. Now I only know how to tie one tie knot, and I have been using this exact one since the 9th grade. The only knot I know how to tie is the half windsor knot, it goes something like this,