This Sunday is a big deal in the life of our
congregation. Our friend and sister Shardae Henry will be preaching her
first sermon from our pulpit. During her time at the Grove, the Lord
has called Shardae to ordained ministry and she begins her formal seminary
studies this fall at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte. And like I
said–this is a big deal for ALL of us.
Because one sign of a vital life-giving church is people ‘coming alive’ and discovering previously unimaginable callings to serve Jesus in extraordinary ways. ‘Behold–I do a new thing in your midst!’ God declares through the prophet Isaiah. That is true for us as a community–and it is also true for us individually. God’s call to ministry was a surprise to Shardae–but those of us who have grown to know and love her over the years saw it coming and celebrated its arrival.
So this is a big beautiful moment. Shardae will share how Jesus’ words ‘I am the vine and you are the branches’ in John 15 reveals the mind of Christ for ministry. And the act of stepping into the pulpit will itself be a revelation for those of us with eyes to see. Because we think we know ourselves, our limits, and our capabilities well. But Jesus knows us better–and Jesus calls us into life beyond our wildest imagination (and equips those he calls).
So I hope you will join us this week. I am coming ready to be filled–because I know that Jesus will use our Shardae to challenge, inspire and stretch us in the same way he has filled, challenged, inspired, and stretched her. May we respond as faithfully!
Scripture Reading: John 15:1-8 (NIV)
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