During licensing school, I heard a lot of great sermons by instructors, mentors and fellow students. One evening, Dr. Paul Hillard shared with us a vision of full church parking lots...people clamboring to get inside to hear God's word. A wonderful dream indeed.
Those who live in your house are truly happy; they praise you constantly.-Psalm 84:4
Yesterday, I was honored to deliver the sermon at a good friend's church in North Alabama. And, because it was close to where my family lives, my parents, sister, nephew and niece were there. I sat behind my daughter and my nephew and they sat like you see above most of the service. It made me very happy and, so, it is today's entry for the Lent photo-a-day challenge. Here is my sermon, on the Parable of the Prodigal Son, if you are so inclined to listen.
Oh, and while I'm taking the time to do more than post a picture, I will share that last week as I was living with the scripture in preparation for Sunday, a song by MuteMath that shuffled into my walk one morning hit me squarely between the eyes. This is the kind of synchronicity I actually have come to expect, as I often hear what I need to move me forward in a song. If you listen to my sermon, you will get a better idea for why these particular lyrics drew my attention:
Sometimes I get tired of pins and needles,
Facades are a fire on the skin.
And I'm growing fond of broken people,
As I see that I am one of them.
I'll say this about the Lenten photo challenge: it's made me think more abstractly than I have in past photo challenges. Today's word almost intimidated me out of even trying the whole thing, but I went ahead with it telling myself I could skip a day if inspiration didn't strike me. But...I noticed my shadow on the ground yesterday as I walked into work on one of the very few sunny days we have had as of late. The shadow was long and strong and stretched out for miles and I thought "prophets stand tall". Yes. That will do.
On an administrative note, Posterous, on which I have hosted my 365 photo challenges, is closing down on April 30. And I mean it is really closing...the sites there will not even be viewable after that date. I have moved my two 365 projects to WordPress and the links to them at their new addresses can be found at the bottom of the blog.
On a spiritual note, from sundown today until sundown tomorrow, I will be unplugging for the National Day of Unplugging. I challenge anyone who might be reading to give it a try. I am going to try to make this a weekly practice, not just an annual one, as well. Read about the Sabbath Manifesto and consider how a day a week of rest, however you may define it, could enliven you spiritually and physically as well as allowing you to connect more fully with the people that are right there next to you.