AFTER 51 YEARS; WHO ARE THEY, AND WHO AM I?
In the summer of 1962, my parents and I left Phoenix, Arizona, due to my mother’s failing health and a need to be closer to family in California to assist with her care. That was a hard move for all of us, but for the self-centered teenager I was, it was extremely hard. It was the summer before my senior year in high school, and I was being forced to leave the school where I had spent my first three years of high school and go elsewhere to attend that year and graduate with a bunch of strangers.
Now, after 51 years Wendy and I are heading to a reunion in Phoenix, of the class that I didn’t graduate with. It feels odd; I haven’t seen most of those people since we were 16 and 17 year-olds, and now we’re all 68 or so. To complicate matters more I’ve been asked to be a speaker at the Sunday morning chapel service.
I must say, the anticipation of the experience has given me pause. It’s beginning to feel a bit like a time warp, and that I’m not going as “Pastor” Darrell Morton, but some nerdy kid who didn’t even graduate with the class; and in my mind I hear the others asking, “So what is he doing here preaching to us?”
Be that as it may, it’s not about me, and hopefully when I speak, I’ll remember that. But that is always the challenge of preaching, it’s not about the preacher, it’s about the one who came so that we might live. It’s about the one who calls, “Come to me all who are weary (or fearful, or feeling particularly inadequate and vulnerable) and I will give you rest.”