Sunday morning was a first for me…
I was preaching at a local church in Hartford. My sermon was titled “Joy, Joy, When There Is No Joy” — in other words, how do you “rejoice in all things” (as the Apostle Paul says) when you don’t feel joyful?
For me, this was a very personal sermon because the past 18 months have been among the hardest (and least joy-filled) of my life.
I felt that it was important to share that context with folks as I spoke on this topic. This is the first time I have spoken publicly about what happened during a sermon or in front of a crowd (blogging feels different).
It was also the first time in a sermon that I have ever acknowledged that I am gay. Even as I said it in the message, I was haunted by old feelings and lies of “can I really say that? Is it okay to be honest about it?”
Of course, the answer is YES!
And it felt good. It felt right. And I had some great and encouraging conversations with folks after the service.
The challenge for me was to find the right balance of sharing ENOUGH without sharing TOO MUCH. This is the balance that every pastor/preacher wrestles with when sharing personal stuff. I feel good about the balance I found for this message.
I will post the sermon here as soon as it is posted online… and then feel free to let me know what you think.