And as many of you know, I have a fairly involved process for becoming familiar with the material I have prepared so that I can deliver without any assistance.
Except yesterday at both the 8:30 and 10:00 services, I had something that I knew belonged in a certain section of the message and that I thought was pretty good stuff to tell people . . . yet I could not pull it from my memory while preaching.
In my mind’s eye, that section I thought was really good was just a blank sheet of white paper. So I kept yakking away, hoping it would come to me. It didn’t.
Finally, for the 11:30 gathering, I double checked my preparation and was able to remember and say what I had earlier forgotten.
It may or may not be very good. But here it is, inspired by Galatians 6:14:
You look at the cross and realize that nothing in your blood, nothing in your accomplishments, nothing in your status in the world means anything in light of that. You gaze at it and realize “I am such a wreck that’s what it took to save my soul . . . but I’m so loved that’s what he did for me.” Your mess and God’s love meet in perfect alignment at the cross and THAT can’t be bragged about too much. From the richest one here to the poorest, from the saintliest to the sinnerest, from the African national to the Charlotte native, we all stand together at the foot of the cross.
That’s the gospel. Your mess meets God’s love at the cross and God’s love wins.