Fry On Friday: “Questions and Answers,” July 28

    I asked for it.  Literally.  Each summer I invite our congregation to submit questions they’d like to examine.  Over the next Sunday or two, I offer my responses in place of the sermon that morning.  Here are a few of this year’s queries:

  • “How about an explanation of The Trinity?”
  • “What can we do to reduce the tension between the political extremes in our
       nation?”
  • “How about raising teenagers in a social media world? How can kids and
      parents verbally communicate?”
  • “How can God forgive me all the time? How can I feel worthy of His love? How
    can I feel it’s okay to pray for myself?
  • “How does God view war? The Bible says to turn the other cheek, but is that still valid on a large scale? How can it be possible to show love in a time of such violence and hate?”

            I have a question of my own—“What was I thinking?!!?”   I promised answers, but I don’t have answers.  When I started preaching, I used to think I had something to say that people needed to hear.  Now I realize I don’t have much to say, but people keep coming to hear it anyway. 

            By now, haven’t you heard everything I have to say?  I think you don’t want my answers, you want my struggles.  I think you keep coming to hear the struggles, to hear what faith sounds in the absence of answers, without cast-iron certainty, when I’m preaching not because I’m ready but because Sunday has arrived. You don’t want my visions, you want my glimpses.

           What truth I offer about scripture or about life is like a brief glimpse of a deer in the woods just off the trail.  “Look!  Did you see that?” I cry.  Sometimes by the time I point to the location, the deer has bounded into the thicket.  But occasionally someone exclaims, “Yes!  I saw only a brief glimpse, but it was beautiful!”  You don’t need my 3-D image of a deer, only an opportunity to experience your own glimpse.  And the assurance that a glimpse is enough.

             That doesn’t make getting ready for Sunday any less of a struggle.  Tony Campolo preached a now classic sermon on resurrection hope titled, “It’s Friday…But Sunday’s Coming!”  Well, today is Friday, but the knowledge that Sunday is coming looms as a huge threat, not a promise.  Forty-eight hours ‘til pulpit time!
         


Dr. Dave Fry is the senior and founding pastor of Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church in Duluth, Georgia, which was started in 1985. Send comments to “Fry on Friday” at dave@pleasanthillpc.org.

          

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