Artist: Johann Michael Rottmayr
As many of you know who are regular readers of this blog, Kathryn Matthews Huey, a United Church of Christ minister, is one of my favorite preachers gracing today's pulpits. Here's an excerpt from her 2007 Pentecost sermon:
Wow. Just wow.
This is the season for graduations, and last weekend I had the marvelous experience of hearing Richard Lederer speak. You may have heard him on NPR – he's an expert on language and words, and we love words, so we were excited to hear his lecture after he spoke at Case Western Reserve University's graduation. He told us that the best advice he could give these new graduates was the following: "Let there be no distance between who you are and what you do." I sat back in my chair when I heard those words. I knew they applied to this day, this Pentecost Sunday, better than anything I could come up with.
We might be tempted at times to give in to those same impulses we see around us – to build up our defenses, look out for ourselves, find security in our "stuff" and in our sure knowledge that we know best, but this wind of the Spirit – it blows through our lives and it turns things upside down. We want a faith that only consoles us, and instead, God challenges our assumptions, blows them over, and opens up our eyes to see things in a new way, opens our hearts to a new creation of possibility and hope. That's who we are as the church, you know – people of hope; and so today we pray that there will be no distance, not one single millimeter, between who we are as people of hope, and all that we do and say.
May all of us have our eyes so opened.