As calm as I try to appear there are many things that make me nervous. Preaching is not usually one of these things, but this week was different. This week I was to preach All Saints Sunday in Kimberley, South Africa. This was a congregation I did not know at all, in a country I'd been in for six days, and Afrikaans was their primary language. I was more than a little nervous.
Pr. Matthys has been at St. Sylvesters Lutheran Church for twenty-one years and he greeted me like a long lost friend. He then asked if I would baptize the two children for the morning.
Every person I met extended remarkable hospitality. A wonderful woman agreed to sit with me and guide me through the Afrikaans parts of the service. I may have been nervous leading up to the service, but by the time we began I was not thinking about myself at all. Some parts of the liturgy I understood and other parts I did my best to keep up. Each element was sung and spoken and danced with joy and grace. I was as faithful a preacher as I could be, but the people of Saint Sylvesters communicated God's love more eloquently than anything I said all day.
(I assume my sermon was okay because my wonderful guide gave me a couple of pieces of candy when I returned from the pulpit.)
Pr. Will Sappington
Peace Lutheran Church