Come As You Are
This is the sermon that I gave on 8/12/18 at Lancaster Congregational Church.
When Pastor Sharon first approached me back in June, and asked if I would be interested in helping out with the sermon today, instantly I agreed. There was no hesitation, only pure excitement.
And then a few days later, the inner voice kicked in and began to say things like “ Who are YOU to speak at church” and on and on it went. I even began to think of ways I could get out of it. Not because I did not want to speak, but because I was letting Fear take over.
But Here I Am.
Because I Am bigger then my fears and so are you.
I have realized, so many times, that real authentic living does include times of being uncomfortable.
And yes, I Am a bit uncomfortable.
Yet when I look out at all of you, all I see is members of my church family, whom I love.
I see fine loving people who have welcomed me and my family into this church and into their lives.
I see you all who have spoken words of praise and confidence to my daughter Ella Kate, those times years ago when she was too timid and shy to walk up front during the Family Moment.
I see the members of the choir who have so generously invited me to please come and sing with them knowing how much I love to sing.
I see my lovely neighbor whom I have sat and enjoyed peach pie and tea, and my neighbors who came and mowed our lawn when Pat had knee surgery.
I see my friends who came to deliver my family a delicious four course homemade meal after my surgery.
I see my friend from high school whom is just as beautiful today as she was twenty something years ago, whom we have shared so much worshiping together at Women’s Retreats.
I see the Sunday school teachers who have so graciously taken time to teach our children the truth and love of Jesus.
I see the young family sitting across from mine who were with us as we officially joined this beautiful congregation and became members back in 2013.
I see you, each one of you. With Love, only Love.
Colossians 3;14 says “Love is more important than anything else. It is what ties everything completely together.”
It is here where we break bread together and in doing so share, comfort and support one another.
What a gift and a blessing it is to have you all in our lives every Sunday, and as we walk out of here and into our daily lives I carry the love and goodness from each and everyone of you in my heart, and so Here I Stand.
In Joshua 1:9 God says:
“Have Not I commanded you? Be Strong, Vigorous, and very Courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Psalm 27 says:
The Lord is my light and my Salvation whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my Life-of Whom Shall I be afraid?”
God does guide our lives, in the direction of the higher good. We must quiet our inner critic and our fears in order to fully hear his plan for us.
We must work everyday at remembering this truth.
I Am one with Him. I Am not separate. Not separate from God. Not separate from each other.
Gods spirit within me is my salvation, he is the light with which I can see, the energy that lifts me above my fear, and the power through which I rise.
We must focus on the positive things in our lives and use our energy to believe in Gods bigger plan for us and stop worrying about discouraging things and more importantly things we have absolutely no control over.
Today more then ever, it seems there are plenty of opportunities to worry and live in Fear. There is a lot of uncertainty in our world and quite frankly it is frightening.
But God says: “ Do not use your energy to worry. Use your energy to believe.”
In John 16:33 God says:
“ I have told you these things so that in Me you may have perfect peace and confidence. In the world you have trials and frustration, but be of good cheer, take courage For I have overcome the world. I have deprived it of power to harm you and conquered it for you.”
Pay attention to the things we say and specifically the words we use. It is always in our power to speak positively, boldly, believing that God renews our strength and healing everyday.
Encourage others. Encourage yourself by speaking words of faith helping the world one person at a time to rise higher and to become all that God intended us to be.
So, come today. Come as You are.
Join your family, friends, and strangers. What is most important is to come exactly as you are, where you are, and who you are.
The world needs your vision, your passion, your purpose and voice to stand up, to join hands and to take a stand for what you believe in fully.
And then Trust.
Trust that the path you are on is exactly where you are supposed to be, and God knows Best. For He has put that dream in your heart, and He will guide your next steps.
Let Us Pray:
As we walk our paths set out before us, May we walk without the darkness which hides our Light.
May we walk without the Fear that hides our Love.
May we walk with you in pure Joy and Peace.
Open ourselves up to receive your spirit, wisdom, and power to rise above every difficulty we face, knowing that you have provided us with your favor and blessing.
Knowing that you are walking this journey with us, there is nothing we cannot do.
In stillness help us listen for your whisper, help us to feel your nudging, help us to give ourselves to follow you.
Give thanks to the Lord for He is Good! For His Mercies endure Forever.