A Prayer for Sunday morning

church basement in Zurich

Lord, what most needs to be said this morning?  What is it that you want me to say?  I’ve got a few clever stories, as you know, and I’ve worked hard on them so that people will laugh in all the right places.  I’m pretty sure that what I have is an entertaining sermon.

But now I’m thinking that it isn’t enough, that it’s more about me than about you, just as it usually is.  I’m thinking that there might be a person (or two) in the congregation who came not to say goodbye to me, not even to laugh at my humor, but to listen for a word from you.

I’m sorry to say that it’s too late to change what I’ve got. It’s all typed and printed.  At this point I’m stuck with what I have.  So, I ask you to take my modest, self-serving offering and transform it.  Change it into something that actually sounds like the good news people are hoping to hear.  Charge it with your Spirit too, I pray, so that it’s you they see, so that it’s your words they hear, so that their lives are changed.

I pray this, with gratitude for the opportunity you’ve given me, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

(Photo credit: Thanks, Michael Blank.  Previous visitors to Switzerland may recognize that room as the lower level of the beautiful Fraumunster church in Zurich.)

About Doug

I have been a writer ever since fifth grade when I won second prize in a “prose and poetry” contest. I am also a Presbyterian pastor, and for several years toward the end of my career I lived and worked in Zürich, Switzerland. I am now retired and live just north of Holland, Michigan, along the lake.

, , ,

6 Responses to A Prayer for Sunday morning

  1. Kathy Benson November 3, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you, your congregation, and your message this morning. Joy and peace, Roger & Kathy

  2. Dave Bayer November 3, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    My thoughts and prayers also are with you and Susan. Please always know, Doug, how much you are loved and admired by your congregation in Fort Lauderdale. Dave

  3. Mandana Sharifi November 3, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

    Well…what can I say…I attended the sermon with no makeup because I knew it was going to be a tear jerker! …now it’s only a water and a plane flight away so you can’t get rid of us that easily…non the less mother & I will be attending your sermon in Switzerland in the first quarter of next year GOD willing!…have a safe trip and see you soon…your Friend for ever in Christ …Mandana :0)

  4. Dennis Ulmer November 3, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    I didn’t read my email, and know of your new blog post until just a few minutes ago. I found your sermon to be very good. It hit the point. When I was waiting to speak with you after the sermon, a fellow worshiper was standing next to me with her foot in a brace type device, and she had a crutch. I said, “You must go before me, we must be more like Jesus and he would want to see you first.” Your sermon’s and doing His work here at our church, and in your life, has enriched me, and made me a better person. I feel that you are indeed a messenger of God, and He uses you to do His work here on earth. Your message is right. We do need to be more like Him. Thank you for reminding us. You did indeed say what needed to be said.

  5. mike November 4, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    Hi Doug –

    I’m so glad that your last sermon didn’t go like the account of a pastor’s last sermon that Debra and Lia and I heard about on the radio on our drive to DeLand after Sunday’s service. This is what we heard on Laughter USA on that drive….

    A pastor was giving his last sermon to the congregation of his church before departing to his new assignment (not in Switzerland). Concluding his sermon he said that he knew that some in the congregation might be sad to see him go….and he knew that others would be glad that he was going. Regardless, he said he must do what he felt Jesus was calling him to do….and ended his sermon there. Where upon the choir sang a rousing version of “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”. 🙂

    Sunday’s sermon (your last at FP) was, for us, a fitting ending and an uplifting beginning. New challenges in faith for all of us lie ahead – and with faith and service at the top of our To Do lists we’ll all be living our lives as we are meant to. Thanks for the challenge, friendship and love.

  6. bob sadowski November 6, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    at least you will be far away from all of this Dolphin crap. Enjoy the trip and see you somewhere.