The following is a report on a preaching trip.
The most obvious thing to say, the day was a partial disaster. I was ready to crawl up walls — honestly, I am still at the phase of grief where it takes effort to GO to church, let alone drive 120 miles, preach, talk with people, and all that. I give myself a c –. Fortunately, I know I can get my nerve back, with practice.
My message was on lent, fasting, and remembering Christ’s time on Earth. My paper on fasting can be considered almost a superset of the message — I tried to hit all the high points in that study. In addition, I added (to the paper) some words on Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus, and an explanation of the history of ‘Fat Tuesday’ (using up all the meat and oil when they still could — very practical). I also tried to mention that as we remembered that Jesus suffered not only the cross, but the small annoyances of life (and there are many of them) — that we can remember that He understands our pain, and our little problems. I also observed that so often we think of Christ suffering as his death, this is odd — because for the most part death marks the end of suffering. (if it is an evil man, the suffering he inflicts ends — if it is a good man, he no longer suffers the world.)
I regret that I did not bring a camera, I would have photographed the trees in Greensburg, a friend calls them ‘poodle trees’ because all the broken branches have new branches everywhere — so once spring comes the whole of the tree is covered in leaves. I am amazed at how new life is so tenacious.
The trip ended with visits with friends and family. Over all, it was a good day.