Yesterday I was proud to reach one of my physical/spiritual milestones: to be able to listen to a sermon whilst jogging!
It was refreshing to listen to a sermon from Timothy Keller (an old favourite) and during the jog I made a couple of personal revelations and reflections.
Revelation 1: Here, I have access to the best sermons in the world! In the past I have often been frustrated at the end of a local church service. Frustrated with (in my eyes) the quality of the sermon, the deviation from the text, the volume of the speaker, the off-the-cuff comments about poor treatment of women, my list of negativity goes on. There are many reasons for this, possibly lack of appropriate education is the root cause though. But going without great quality sermons is my own fault. I just need to make time, they are all there online!
Reflection 1: Keller’s sermon ‘The Struggle for Love’ was based on the Genesis story of Jacob when he was tricked into marrying Leah and later marries Rachel (Genesis 29:15-35). One of Keller’s analogies is that we all want to wake up next to Rachel, but in the end we will always wake up next to Leah. He quotes from CS Lewis to explain his analogy well:
‘Most people, if they really learned how to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something this world can never give them’.
Keller recognises that:
‘in all our life, through every event, there will always be a ground note of cosmic disappointment’.
This was a very good reminder for me. Here, away from my creature comforts; my countrymen who understand my sense of humour; my friends who know my history; I sometimes long for people/things that are not here. Possibly I am hoping to wake up next to Rachel, but it’s Leah who greets me in the morning. It’s also a reminder to not look to things or people to fill any void that is there. If you have time, listen to the sermon. You will hopefully be challenged, stretched and learn more like I did.