Sometime Sundays are not as uplifting as others.
There are always a few sermons during the year that make me uncomfortable, and I don't think I'm the only one in the congregation that feels challenged. We'd really rather not hear them at all and just focus on love, mercy and grace. Let's forget about tithing, carrying crosses, sin and our own weakness.
I also like to hear the "good works" sermons. I like getting caught up doing things and being busy, with the church people and for the church, but it's easy to forget why we do those things. Maybe that's my Calvinist background. I always think of Calvinists as being really good, hard workers (although I'm pretty sure Calvin himself said that you weren't saved by good works alone). Anyway, I'm not a theologian. I'm not even sure I can spell it.
The topic of this Sunday's sermon was servanthood. We are all called to be servants. Servants of God and servants of each other.
Not sub-serviant though. I liked that part. Not blindly doing unto others, but thoughtfully. There was a special message to mothers to not lose yourselves in mothering. We were not to pick up after children and husbands for years and years and forget about ourselves, thinking we're doing the right thing by being their servant. And I loved hearing that. Yay! I'm going to stop picking up and catering to them all! Again, that's not the point, but I happily cling to the parts that make my life easier.
There was also a story about how the minister had had to care for her mother for three years. Definitely outside of her comfort zone and outside of her personality, she had to serve her mother during a time of illness. And it had turned out to be a good thing. A time of redemption and learning, a time of loving.
Unfortunately, while hearing this, I found myself praying for the opposite. Yvon and I are the appointed guardians of our handicapped neice should anything happen to Yvon's sister. Our neice brought it up over the Thanksgiving weekend. "Please, Lord, don't make this ever come to be."
This scares me. And not just a little. I have no experience with special needs, with ongoing health issues, with mental and physical disabilities. I'm impatient and can't stop myself from sticking unflattering labels to her that really are not her personality but her brain's inability to attach actions to consequence, to think beyond herself and her needs of this moment. Like a toddler in an adult body.
Another message in the sermon was that God will equip us with what we need. He'll be there with me, helping me, I won't be alone. Always the good news with the bad. I still don't want the job, I wouldn't choose it, but it's selfish to pray that it won't happen. And it's pointless to worry about it.
Whether we like it or not, we are all called to serve one another. And not just when it's easy to do so.