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"Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"  John 11:25


 

 Sermon Excerpt: Calling the Blessing Into Being, Ezekiel 37:1-14,Cindy Weber


...Once when I was in seminary, I went up to New York City with a group of students, got class credit for it, even. We visited a number of different churches and ministries, and one of the churches that we visited was Riverside Church, which is a nationally known congregation. The pastor of the church at the time was William Sloane Coffin. We got to talk to Rev. Coffin for about an hour, about 12 of us just sitting there asking him questions. I sat next to him, and never being one to keep quiet, I asked a fair amount of the questions.

When we got ready to leave, Rev. Coffin walked us to the door. Now, let me explain that I was a social work student. I had no intentions, no thoughts, no leadings whatsoever toward the pastoral ministry at the time. I was training to be a social worker, and had never even entertained the idea that one day I might be a pastor. So, back to the story, Rev. Coffin walked us to the front vestibule of the church, and as we stood there in the entrance of that huge, ornate, fancy room, he shook my hand, and he said, “Cindy, you’re going to be a great woman pastor someday.”

Now, I started to correct him, and tell him that I had no intentions of ever being a pastor, but because I rather enjoyed the discomfort of all of the my fellow men students who had been telling me all week long that women could never be pastors, I just smiled, and said, “Thank you.” You know, I didn’t think of his words again for a very long time, but since I’ve become a pastor, I’ve often thought back to that time, to that gift of affirmation, to those words of blessing, and I’ve wondered if Rev. Coffin saw something in me that I could not see in myself, if he, in a sense, called something out of me that day, called some gifts, some awareness, some insight into being in that wonderful blessing that he bestowed upon me.

In this morning’s scripture reading, God takes Ezekiel to a valley where the ground is covered with dry bones....DPS Subscribers: click here to see the full manuscript plus all other materials