What follows is the manuscript of my sermon – the first in a new series entitled, “Stretchy, Not Sketchy: Honest Conversations About Faith,” in which I attempt to make the case for a vibrant, living, growing faith that is flexible rather than being fundamentalist (rigid, inflexible). The video of the sermon is also available to watch online here.
Finally – after an entire Summer in the Psalms, we have arrived in a new series!
The title of my sermon today is, “Dancing In the Wind.”
Have you been watching footage from the gulf coast of Florida?
Our family vacationed there a year ago in Saint Petersburg.
We had a little thunder-and-lightening rain storm that lasted a couple of hours—it was beautiful and spectacular and completely innocuous—fun to watch, no harm, no foul.
But what we see from Hurricane Ian is, in many places, devastatingly destructive.
Roads and bridges destroyed, homes demolished, debris and twisted metal strewn everywhere.
Something that struck me was how often the palm trees remained in place, just looking like their hair had been tousled a bit. They had been dancing in the wind, created to withstand hurricanes and storm surge flooding.
I think this provides us with a worthy word picture of the kind of faith we truly want…
One that bends, but does not break. One that is flexible, rather than fragile. One that is planted, rooted, and established. One what can withstand the floods and winds of our time without snapping or worse, dying.
In fact, we see this word picture used in Scripture repeatedly. I think of the first chapter of the book of Psalms which says, God’s people are to be like…
They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In everything, they thrive. (Psalm 1.3)
I want to have the kind of faith that is capable of withstanding the heat and will not wither away, the kind of faith that in everything thrown its way… it thrives.
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