SERMON TITLE: “The Serenity Prayer: To Accept”
SERMON TEXT: Luke 2:41-52
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: March 14, 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.
Our national and state leaders have been noting this week that we have now come to the sad, but true, one-year anniversary of our COVID pandemic experience. Likewise, here at First United Methodist, we can acknowledge that, as of today, we have been without in-person worship services for an entire 52 weeks. While it has been the strangest year of our lives, with some very difficult sacrifices, we can celebrate that our ministry never shut down. For anyone who wants to check us out, we have an entire year of Facebook Live worship services in our archive. Of course, the better thing to celebrate is that lots of us are getting our vaccinations, and, as a result, the COVID threat seems to be waning. We rejoice that we can see the light at the end of this long tunnel.
Because of these improving conditions, I fully expect that we will return to in-person worship in the near future. On Wednesday, our ReLaunch Team will certainly discuss when and how we can invite people back into the sanctuary. I encourage you to watch your Thursday church email, and stay tuned to hear the results of that discussion. For sure, we’re much closer to worshiping in the sanctuary again.
That’s the good news. Of course, it will still be months before the younger adults, youth, and children in our families will be safe from sickness. Dr. Angela Dunn, the Utah State Epidemiologist, said on Thursday that 85-90% of our state’s population is still at risk. And that risk, that need to stay vigilant and continue limiting our behaviors on behalf of those we love, keeps us all in a situation of some stress and anxiety. So, today, we progress in our series on The Serenity Prayer to the words, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.” How does our acceptance help us gain serenity? Or how does our quest for serenity teach us to accept?