Text: Matthew 6:25-33
I have dreaded this day. There is no way to sugarcoat that. The thought that this will be my last sermon as your pastor has almost paralyzed me. But I chose this fate, and like the child who lets go of his balloon to see if it will fly, and then pitches a fit when it won’t come back, it’s hard to feel too sorry for those of us who create our own losses.
One of my favorite lines comes from Norman Mclean’s novella, A River Runs Through It, where a father reflects on the mysterious life and death of his youngest son. The father says, “We can love completely even if we do not have complete understanding.” I have been the beneficiary of that thinking over these last weeks. I know that many of you cannot understand why I am leaving Pullen; to be honest there are moments when I don’t understand it myself. But even so, you have lavished your loving support on me and my family. Thank you for that grace.
For years whenever one of you came through the line after church and was kind enough to say, “I felt like you were preaching that just to me,” I would often respond, “No, I was preaching to me and letting you overhear it.” You may have thought I was kidding, but I wasn’t. And if you have any doubt about the veracity of that statement, consider the text I have selected for today. It’s Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount declaring, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” So, for one last time, I invite you to listen in as I preach to myself.