Shari’s Unscripted Commentary

Each Sunday, when I’ve finished my sermon, Shari joins me on stage for a few moments of unscripted commentary. I get the sense that this is what people most enjoy about the “sermon time.” And it’s not included on the videos we post online…

Interesting thing, that.

Maybe the best bits about church can never be accessed via the internet.

The bread and the cup. Water baptism. Child dedication. Hugs. Standing in prayer with our brothers and sisters in Christ – shedding tears together, celebrating together. Serving on a Sunday. Those few moments of unscripted commentary.

Anyway, back to Shari’s unscripted commentary…

In my sermon, I had read from Sally Lloyd-Jones’ “The Jesus Storybook Bible” – the story of the Prodigal Son, which she titles Running Away.

“The son takes the money and goes on a long, long journey to a far off country. And everything’s wonderful and perfect—for a while. He can go wherever he wants, do whatever he wants, be whoever he wants. He is the boss, he is free!

Sometimes he gets a strange, hungry, homesick feeling inside his heart, but then he just eats more, or drinks more, or buys more clothes, or goes to more parties until it goes away.”

Shari said how she loved the part where it talked about the hungry, homesick feeling inside his heart… and how we all have that at various times. It’s good. It reminds us of who we are, of where we belong: home. God’s children. Family. It’s a built-in longing for relationship with God. And we should listen to it.

Then Shari said…

“How often do we try to answer that hungry, homesick feeling by eating more, or drinking more, or buying more things, or going to more parties?

And the feeling goes away. It goes away because we’ve become numb. Temporarily satisfied.”


Those few seconds with Shari speaking off the cuff were better than the 25 or 30 minutes of my prepared message.

Her observation made me think about the recovery groups that meet every Sunday after our 5pm service.

I think what’s so beautiful about these groups is that they are filled with people who are remembering.

They are remembering home. They are hungry again. They have come to realize that all their pursuing of more (food, drink, possessions, activity) has only served as a numbing agent for their true hunger. And like the prodigal, they’ve decided to make their way home again.

*     *     *

Here’s the video we played before Sunday’s sermon…


I am a husband, father, pastor, leader & reader. I love God, love people & love life.

6 Comments to Shari’s Unscripted Commentary

  1. Love this! So true.

    I know I’ve felt it before. Homesick for my Father and his plan for my life. Homesick to get back up and keep doing what He’s called me to do. Homesick for His embrace and reminder that He never changes and His desire for me never wavers.

    A call. A knock. A whisper. “Come home son.”

    • Sounds like you need to write a song. Kinda like “Welcome Home” but from the other side / perspective… the weary wanderer remembering, hearing, hungering once again.

  2. Anna Rollins

    We had a 1st time guest attend with us at 2nd service & once I caught up with her and asked about her experience, she mentioned immediately that she appreciated the pastors wife (Shari) speaking so genuinely and unscripted at the end of an unforgettable message. She also appreciated the transitions between services and the worship. This guest is used to going to Catholic Church and left feeling more loved and “full” and connected than she ever has felt in 60 plus years. I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment and how the unscripted moments can be so much more fulfilling. It’s important to be present and attend functions physically and not rely on the recorded parts. Thank you for last Sundays message, it really made a lot of us think about Home.

  3. Love this SO much. Everything you wrote here and the fact that your beautiful and wise Shari offers her unscripted thoughts at the end of your sermons…LOVE this. Cheering you on!

  4. One of the reasons I chose to visit NW Life was because I noticed women appearing in some of the sermon videos online. Rare. And once I did come by, I realized that you had Shari come up after every message to chat. I had not ever seen that before in a church and I liked it! Women are equals at NW Life – we are not “less than” or “other,” which is how I believe Jesus sees us.

  5. Scott Simpson

    “They are remembering home” Shari’s words bring more meaning when I see that “they” is just the word me wearing a clever disguise.

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