Below is my sermon from yesterday, on Christian Education Sunday. It is a sermon in rhyme. As requested, the text is provided as well (though I probably have a few commas in the wrong places). If you use the Podcast app, you can listen by subscribing here.
We have been taught by Jesus and Paul
To live a holy life is nothing small.
A holy life is filled with mercy and piety;
Serving the poor with little anxiety.
Discipleship requires rigorous training
That keeps our spiritual muscles from spraining.
For it is a marathon that we are running,
This holy life that can be quite stunning.
To make disciples for world transformation
we visit our moral discernment stations.
Some call these stations the Church. Others a mission.
Either way, we are all part of a long tradition
Of disciple making and world changing
That involves a lot of rearranging.
Our stations are for training our spiritual being
To live a holy life that is freeing,
From the bondage of laziness and spiritual weariness
That leaves the soul in a state of dreariness.
This training requires hard work and some suffering,
That could leave our souls in a state of buffering.
But in the midst of all that, there is a hope.
A hope built on Christ who empowers us to cope
With the false teachings that fill the air
That only leaves our souls bare.
You see, there are plenty of teachers and preachers
Who claim the authority of Christ’s training features.
Yet, they do not show love and do not welcome all
In the ways taught by Jesus and the apostle Paul.
Instead, these teachers and preachers
Yell from their seats in the bleachers
The loving words of Christ, while creating a breach
In the community of faith, that warrant us to impeach.
They are blinded by pride and puffed up with conceit.
They pretend superior knowledge putting others on the hot seat.
They are as infected sheep communicating disease
In single phrases as easily as if it blows in the breeze,
All while clubbing one another into submission to avoid responsibility
For manipulating us all with their pretend piety into a place of hostility.
All it does is corrupt the process of learning;
The process of asking questions that are churning;
And from discovering what we truly know –
Jesus washed us all white as snow.
Teachers and preachers throughout the ages have urged us
To listen to and hear the words of Jesus.
Words of love and words of inclusion.
Words of mercy and words of fusion.
And so, we fill our airwaves with the words of Jesus
The very words and teachings that seize us
And motivate us to live our morals in deeds,
Not just in words filled with weeds.
These are words that are not to be taken for granted.
Instead, they should water us where we are planted,
So that we will grow to tell others the stories of Jesus
Just as teachers and preachers have sang them to us.
Like Timothy before us, we are urged to train ourselves like an athlete would
To fill our lives and the lives around us with all that is holy and good.
Our holy training workout has long-lasting affects,
In this life and in the next.
The exercises of worship, Bible studies, small groups, and missions
Are practices that are not new additions.
We have these practices from the days of the early church,
To train ourselves to constantly be in search
For the Holy and the Divine in our midst
Not on the false teachings that preexist.
From the days of the early church, we have been taught to put faith in action
For it is in living the words of Jesus in our deeds that we find traction,
To be models and examples of the faith to others
Loving as Christ loves all of our sisters and brothers.
We are not limited by our age
Who can or cannot be a sage.
From the youngest to the oldest
We, like Esther, approach with boldness
To tell the stories of Jesus to all people
Offering courage and hope under the steeple.
This is discipleship
Not a guilt trip.
Leading others to serve
Our neighbors who deserve
Christ’s love as we all do
This is what we have been called to.
It requires practice, practice, practice,
To avoid the prickly edges like a cactus.
It involves commitment and dedication
To practice in our discernment station,
Here in the Church.
The place where we search
For the mysteries of the Spiritual
That is nothing short of being radical.
We gather in classrooms or on front porches
Where the Light of Christ shines like torches
On our souls revealing the process of growth
To all who are willing to see both
The awesome stuff and the hard stuff
That can make life tough.
But we have a foundation called hope
That keeps us going like jumping rope.
To learn and to grow
In order that we may bestow
The words of Jesus to others;
All of our sisters and brothers.
We are all disciples who are instructing
The Church in its reconstructing
Of disciple-making and world-changing to love God and to love each other,
For that commandment is what guides us in all we do for one another.
Fulfilling the commandment to love
Should fit us like a glove
In the good times and the bad
So that our lives are a launching pad
Living out through our conduct and speech
In a way that our lives become sermons that preach.