Someone recently played a horrible word association game that dissolved into grown men making fun of a sister in Christ and demanding that she “go home,” citing lack of a Biblical evidence for a woman to preach. If you’re unfamiliar with the reference, ask me about it. I won’t dignify the details here.
The other night, I had a dream that this person came to my church on a day on which I was preaching and threw eggs at me. In the dream, men and women from both the congregations I have served with came to stand between the egg thrower and the pulpit where I was standing, so I could finish preaching.
Start over, Sara.” They said. So I did. I preached and then we sang the hymn of response. Everyone stood in their places as we responded to the word of God, together.
I’ve been thinking about this dream and what it says to me about my place and where I am most at home. On our commute today, Andrew randomly said to me “you really love preaching don’t you?” I said, “yeah, I really do.”
I entered my first pulpit metaphorically kicking and screaming. I stepped out a new person, a called person; a seminary student who was certain chaplaincy was the clear path ahead who emerged with stirrings for congregational ministry, and preaching, never before discerned or felt.
The part of the dream where everyone stood in affirmation between me and another’s defensiveness makes me thankful for all the affirmation and support I’ve received over the years; from my family, professors, friends and colleagues.
The words in that video that was going viral several days ago have threatened to dis-member women who have bravely accepted a calling some people believe is exclusively reserved for men.
Thankfully, the Christ who calls us all re-members us into fellowship together through his body and blood – a sacrament men and women share together all over the world.
I’m not going home. I can’t go, because I’m already there. I’ve often likened preaching in my life to coming home from a long trip, to the inviting smell of biscuits and sawmill gravy, strong coffee and and a wood-burning fire. Whenever I step into the pulpit to preach, I’m home, and each person who has welcomed me home into this topsy turvy world of being a Christ follower is always with me.
Thanks be to God.