The “why” in my calling to preach is an important thing to name. It’s something I feel I may have lost sight of.
Being a part of more than one minority community, I have always felt the call for more inclusion in our Church. Inclusion is often what fuels me. How can we make a church that truly embodies the unconditional love of God? One that isn’t a sounding gong or a clashing cymbal. How can I work to use my experience as a member of the LGBTQ+ community as a method of calling the church to a better representation of the unconditional love of God? How do I, as a black female, challenge the church not live in complacency but to live in the discomfort of working to change the systems that oppress the people of color in their community? How can I as a woman in our Church show that women are not only capable and willing to lead, but that they have always been a force within the church?
At the beginning of this year, mine call felt ablaze. I knew exactly where I was going. I was called to be a preacher. Preaching was a chance to share the gospel on my heart in ways that could not be done at the pulpit. Knowing this, I discovered my passion for preaching set ablaze in Africa. As it burned, I saw the opportunity to be someone I missed in my youth. A black, Catholic female voice to speak to the masses and enliven the church! A face that I spent my life looking for at numerous CYO, Lifeteen, and other young adult retreats, and a face that I still fail to see now at Focus retreats and other large Catholic functions. In my youth, I wondered “why” there was no one to represent my outlook or the issues concerning my heart.
Preaching could help me do this. Preaching brings the Gospel to life! Preaching is one way to make it accessible to people day. It brings scripture to life and allows those listening to see the work of the Spirit moving in their lives.A good preacher moves you to actions and reflection. Reflecting on your life and if you are truly walking with Jesus. It lets you not live in the complacency of passive Christianity but challenges you to the real and life changing call of Christ. It brings the church alive. We are not stagnant and stale, we are people alive and on FIRE with Christ! Dr. King’s preaching empowered action to transform the broken world and to make it anew.
I, once, believed the Spirit working through me had that ability. I saw it, and I knew it could be true. With the weight of the world, I currently feel drowned in all I have not done and all I want to say. On this week’s call, a wise participant said that “Our life and lived experience is a living sermon.” I believe this is true, so perhaps my sermon is just about to take a turn.
There is power in The Word and in the words we use to convey it. #holyspiritcome!