SERMON TITLE: “Serenity Prayer: God”
SERMON TEXT: Exodus 3:1-8b, 11-14
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: February 21, 2021, at First UMC
God, . . . grant me . . . the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
. . . the courage to change the things I can, . . .
and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other. Amen.
Every year, the United Methodist Women’s organization partners with our General Board of Global Ministries and comes up with something they call “Mission U.” Mission U is a continuing education opportunity for United Methodist women and men who are interested in learning more about mission situations around the world, Bible study, social justice, and personal faith development. This year’s option for personal faith development is called Finding Peace in an Anxious World1 and is based on the Serenity Prayer. In this time when we’ve all been stressed by COVID-19, politics, protests, and riots, it seemed to me like this study could be developed into a helpful sermon series.
So, beginning today and continuing through this season of Lent, we are going to be focusing on the Serenity Prayer, bit by bit. Using various scriptures, we will explore the concepts of God, prayer, serenity, acceptance, courage, and wisdom. But, before we get into today’s topic, let me say just a few things about the prayer itself.
There are many different versions of the Serenity Prayer. Some are much longer. Some versions put the lines in different order, or change some of the words. It’s all good. For our purposes, we’ll be using the version that we recited this morning, which is from our United Methodist hymnal.
So, now, we begin with the first word of the prayer, which is “God.” Who is God? What is God? Why do we or should we believe in God? We could never explain God in just one sermon. But we have to start somewhere. So I chose the scripture from Exodus, chapter three, to help us ponder the Divine. Let’s dig into this story of Moses and see if we too can come to a greater understanding of God.