Below is the prayer I wrote for my Dad’s wedding this past weekend:
Thrice Holy Lord of the universe enthroned in splendor;
most righteous, most gracious, most merciful, most loving God:
We lift up our voices to you to give you praise and thanks. We thank you foremost for the love that you have shown the world in the work of Christ on the cross for those who place their faith in him. Your name be praised above all others throughout all the Earth.
We also have occasion to thank you today as we celebrate the love between my Dad—Roger—and Sherry—this wonderful woman you have brought into his life according to your good providence.
We ask your blessing upon this marriage. When they laugh in times of joy, may they give you praise. When they cry in times of distress, may they seek comfort from you. When they labor in the work that you have given them, may they find their hope and strength in you. When they hurt each other, may they have the courage to recognize and confess their fault, and may they have the grace to offer forgiveness just as you offer it to us.
Challenge and enable them to grow together in grace and godliness—to grow in love for each other, for you, and for others. May they help each other more fully develop the gifts that you have given them.
As they make vows today to love, cherish, and care for one another, and as they seek to fulfill those vows in the years to come, remind them that it is only in the power of Christ that they have hope to overcome sin and remain faithful to such promises.
Keep them forever in your love and care. We pray these things in the glorious name of your faithful son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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My Dad’s flight got in Friday morning, and despite his suitcases having popped open, he was soon in a cab on his way to meet me at the seminary. He got to campus just in time to join me for Acts & Paul. That evening, my Dad and I went to the symphony where we enjoyed a fine Singles Awareness Day… er… Valentine’s Day program featuring a feisty French conductor.
On Saturday, I did some homework and it snowed. Granted, it wasn’t as much as the east coast received, which Kyrie has adequately documented, but it was enough to make driving on Sunday morning a tad treacherous. Sunday was, of course, my public preaching debut, so I had no choice but to venture out. On the other hand, the snow cut church attendance in half, which made my preaching debut a little less intimidating.
My preaching debut turned out really well. I was very nervous while I was sitting in front of the congregation waiting for the sermon time, but once I got into the pulpit I got into the groove pretty quickly. I was pleased with the final manuscript of my sermon, into which I had put a lot of effort improving during the preceding week, and I got a lot of positive response from the people I talked to after the service. I am looking forward to being able to preach at Memorial again sometime.
Hopefully, I will soon have the manuscript posted over in the documents section, along with an MP3 of my preaching it for those of you who couldn’t be there.
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I’ve completed three preaching classes. I’ve preached 4 different sermons before my classmates. I’ve taught Sunday school classes. I’ve led liturgy. On Sunday, February 16th, I will take another step forward as I ascend into the pulpit at Memorial Pres. and preach to an actual congregation.
A week or so ago, my friend and ruling elder Willy approached me about preaching on the 16th. That date is Mission Focus Sunday this year at Memorial, and it is apparently custom to have a guest preacher present a sermon about missions as part of the program for the day. Willy wanted to know if I was interested, and if I had a sermon already prepared that fit the theme, since it was rather short notice for a busy student like myself. I volunteered my Acts 6–7 sermon, and he and pastor George confirmed that it fit the theme.
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