Today’s Lent post is a video. It’s from a series I did last summer—13 weeks of preaching on the wild and untamed ways of the Holy Spirit. This particular message is titled, “Sails Up, The Wind Is Blowing.”
I hope you’ll take the time to watch it. The opening sequence (a prayer) is absolutely beautiful. And I think the message is timely, challenging.
Nobody in the audience says “Amen” during this sermon. In fact, everyone is quiet throughout the message (with the exception of a baby or two). The quietness might be the result of the opening lines of my sermon…
We pastors crave, we want “Amens.” Sometimes we joke about it and ask for them. Sometimes we just straight up plead with the people to give us “Amens.”
There is something encouraging and affirming about it. It’s nice to know people are with you—listening, and affirming what you’re saying…
And there’s also something about it… like, when I’m listening (to a sermon) and I say “Amen,” it’s quick. I mean ya gotta get that out there quickly right after the thing was said—and basically, what it means is, “I already knew that, I already believe that.” That’s something I recognize and it registers right away in my brain, “Yeah, that’s true.”
So, that’s what amen is saying. Like, “Yes, that’s true. Amen. Let that be.” It’s a very fast reaction that essentially means you didn’t learn anything new… because if you’re hearing something you’ve never heard before and you’re processing something that strikes you like, “What???” you’re not gonna shout out “Amen!” because you’re not really sure if you believe that thing yet.
And so part of my desire in this series is to have a few less “Amens,” and a few more, “Whaaaaattt???? What the heck?” I actually want that to be some of our reaction.
I wonder if we can we be open? Is it possible? And will we be?
Is there anything new we can learn? Or do we already know it all?
Is our faith complete? Perfectly grasped, contained, held, and protected.
Or are we on a pilgrimage? Are we still following, are still going places, are we still being led, are we still listening, are we still learning, are we still growing?