Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sunday Sermons: "Life After 'Welp'"

I am the worst at posting these on Sundays, but I will get to it one of these days. My notes from May 11th will be up soon!

**Note: I did not write the sermon. Pastor Jeff spent time on it, so please don't plagiarize and steal the sermon from my notes.

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"Life After 'Welp'"
May 4, 2014
Grace UCC, Pastor Jeff Nelson

Scripture:
Acts 2: 14a, 36-41
Luke 24: 13-35

  • The expression 'welp' is used to show fatalism, acceptance, resignation
    • Usually about something beyond one's control
    • One usually would have rather it happened otherwise; not an ideal situation, painful
    • Trying to move on
    • For example, 
      • A ball is fumbled on an important play--'Welp'
      • Someone hits a home run off the best pitcher--'Welp'
    • Apply this same spirit to more serious matters--natural disasters, loss, end of relationships, etc. 
    • Similar to saying 'What are you gonna do?' 'That could have gone better,' etc
    • Gives a collective voice to resignation, pain, and the struggle forward
  • In Luke, the disciples walking are in their collective 'welpness' because of Jesus' death
    • There were two certainties in that time: 
      • Death
      • What Rome wanted to happen would happen (ie. Jesus' death)
    • The disciples were resigned and in 'welp'
    • Stranger comes along, who is actually Jesus, but the disciples cannot see him
      • Asks what the disciples are talking about
      • The disciples tell the story of Jesus and of how the women went to the tomb and found that he was raised
      • They are trying to understand
    • The stranger (Jesus) talks of a different suffering Messiah
    • They get to where they are going and Jesus walks on, but the disciples invite him to stay
    • All of them sit down to share a meal
      • Jesus breaks bread and the disciples see him as Jesus
      • The disciples realize that Jesus has been with them the entire time in their 'welp'
    • The disciples go back and tell the story
      • "It is true!" 
      • Jesus was with us the entire time
  • Ignatius of Loyola wrote a meditation on how God is present in all things
    • Not just the good, the easy, the feel good, but the things that upset us, that hurt, the things that make us cry out, the 'welp'
    • God is actively loving, creating, sustaining, etc in all things
  • When we celebrate the sacraments, we remember that God is with us in all things, even though we can't see him walking with us
    • It happens in moments when people come together and this is how our 'welp' becomes 'It is true.'

My thoughts: 
The other day on Facebook, I posted an image that now seems more relevant than ever. It is reminiscent of the poem "Footprints in the Sand" and relates very well to this sermon. 


I have a hard time believing that God is with me even in my state of 'welp.' I struggle to see how God is actively loving, creating, and sustaining me in times of pain and hardship, in times of struggles and relapse. In those times, I just feel like I am being dragged along by someone who wants me to suffer, instead of carried. And there's moments when I get a glimpse and am able to say 'It is true!' that God is with me always--an evening spent in conversation with a friend, the smile and laughter of a child, words of encouragement from a mentor, and so on. But for the most part, I don't see it. I'm in my state of 'welp' right now, not in the part after it.