Yesterday marked my 10 year anniversary as Pastor of First Pres, Kirkwood (St. Louis), MO. It was a really wonderful morning, with the youth leading the 9:05 service and the confirmands being welcomed into the life of the church. There was a lovely moment of recognition for my anniversary, which made me cry, before the sermon at 11. (It’s not easy preaching through tears.)
The essence of the message yesterday, which you can see here, was that ‘the big story’ of the people of faith is always a move from enslavement in repetition toward freedom and promise (the exodus from Pharaoh to the Promised Land). I had never noticed Jesus’ introduction in the Gospel of Matthew as the embodiment of the Exodus – baptism and then being tempted in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights – but it clearly is.
I love the congruence of the Spirit bringing together my 10th anniversary in Kirkwood with the story of the people of God moving out of the trance of repetitive actions toward freedom and promise.
It feels like the perfect kickoff of the season of Lent and the perfect kickoff to the next 10 years.