The experimental "preaching from notes" review? Mixed. Some parts I got away from the pulpit for, and other parts I needed my manuscript for. We'll see about next week. I have a funeral today.
Here are the last two paragraphs of last week's sermon:
....We turn to our first reading, the one from the prophet Zechariah. Zechariah was speaking to people who were in captivity, and who were finally cominbg home -- and rebuilding their temple. They were finally coming home to their own land, but it wasn't really their land still. They were given permission to live there again, and to worship and rebuild, but they still longed for a time when they would be truly free, when a new king would come to them, riding on a donkey, and speaking peace. Zechariah imagines a grand victory parade, as this king marches into Jerusalme, a parade celebrating freedom, but a different kind of freedom -- because it's not just freedom for them -- but freedom for the nations, as well. "He shall command peace to the Nations," Zechariah promises, "and his dominion shall be from sea to sea." this vision give the people the strength to keep going, to do the good work of rebuilding their temples and living as God's people right now. And the prophet Zechariah calls the people prisoners: "Prisoners of hope" he calls them, because they are captive to this vision of a king who will bring peace, who will bring abundant life, who will bring justice and mercy to them -- and not just to them -- but to the whole world.
Dear friends, on this July 4th weekend, as we celebrate the gifts of our national freedom, letu s remember thatin Christ we are truly set free -- but also, that we are "prisoners of hope." For in the mlidst of our freedom we are held captive to a higher vision -- a vision of a kingdom of peace, where abundant life and healing are a vailable to all, where the walls that separate us come tumbling down, where hurts are healed and people are reconciled. We are held captive to a vision of a kingdom of peace, where the dead are raised, where the hungry are fed, where there is no more weeping and no more war. For we are yoked to Jesus, the king of peace who has ridden into our lives bringing words of forgiveness and hope. He has set us free from fear -- but set us free to follow him. It's a great parade -- a parade of the weary and the burdened, the young and the old, the riche and the poor -- all following Jesus on the path to life. AMEN