Monday, 2 June 2008

Sweep repeatedly in hope to overcome the sand of hopelessness

Our worship sheets this morning had pictures of brooms on the front cover. At the beginning of the service large buckets of sand were scattered on the marble steps of the altar. At moments throughout the service the sand was moved and swept to different parts of the chapel, with brooms or dustpans.
Scattered on the dark marble of the chapel floor the sand was a dark slippery substance, speaking powerfully of how we cover up the solid foundations of faith, stability and hope.

Roger Schmidt, from the LWF, preached on how important it is to repeat the hope that is in us; to repeat hope as a way of combatting the hopelessness that surrounds us. He wove together the motif of the wise builder building on the rock with the Schma from Deuteronomy 6. Remember - remember to speak of hope. Remembering to remember hope is the way to begin to overcome hopelessness.
Roger ended his sermon:
"The vicious cycle of hopelessness can only be broken by the repetition of what we can believe, by the repetition of hope.
Therefore, let’s do that. Let’s sweep away the sand of hopelessness. Let’s repeat the good practices of faith. Let’s do that this morning, tomorrow and again and again."

It was a simple and rich service, giving much food for thought at the beignning of the week. I've never seen a broom propped against the altar before - nor used as a liturgical instrument to sweep during worship. It immediately made me smile and spoke to me very profoundly of God sweeping in the dust - to uncover the rock on which she desires we may found our lives. This was more inspired by the parable of the lost coin than the rock and the sand but finding in the broom a symbol of God's activity was a real revelation for me.

Anyway Roger, Rolita and Francis all make contributions to the LWF youth blog and LWF also have their own facebook page which you can join. You can also find the complete liturgy Sand or Rock written by them together with Simone Sinn.