I have a little story book in my hands today, because today I'm going to begin my homily with a little story. You remember when you were a kid and your teacher would call all the students to come forward, and you'd sit on the floor, and the teacher would read you a story? Well, you know, Jesus did that with his disciples.
Most of you know that the readings from scripture that we share here each Sunday are not chosen by us. Those readings come from a book that's called the Revised Common Lectionary. And it's called the Common Lectionary because most of the Christian denominations follow this lectionary. I really love that. I love that every Sunday thousands of Christians around the world – Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians, Catholics, UCC – we're all focused on the same readings every Sunday. I think there's a great power in that.
Well, I think that most of you know that before I was a pastor, I was a high school English teacher. And I loved teaching high school English. And one of the things I loved the most about teaching English was reading poems aloud to the class. I loved reading a poem and then asking the students how they made meaning of it.
As I mentioned at the top of the service, I'm just back from a wonderful week in Indianapolis, Indiana, where I served as an elected delegate at the UCC general Synod. The Synod is a biannual gathering of all 5, 000 of our United Church of Christ churches. And it was such a jam-packed week of wonderful activities and events.