A Children’s Sermon
I found something lying around outside Westminster Presbyterian Church. Take a look. It’s a piece of the Beta Bridge–that colorful-message-painted bridge out on Rugby Road, the bridge that crosses over the train tracks right outside our front door. It’s not a piece of concrete. It’s actually layers and layers of hardened paint that finally, after cold and heat and weather, just fell off the bridge. Look how thick it is. If you think about it, this piece of petrified paint contains fragments of so many painted messages. It’s a piece of history, from the past to the present. Who knows? Maybe the bottom layer goes all the way back to 1969 when they speculate someone first painted a message on the bridge. And wouldn’t it be interesting if you could peel away all the layers of paint on the Beta Bridge and read all those messages painted throughout the years? And did you know, that if you want to enroll at the University of Virginia, as part of your application process, you have the option to write the following 250 word essay? “What would you paint on Beta Bridge and why is this your message?” Applying freshmen write essays about how they would express themselves through paint!
How about this place? What about Westminster Presbyterian Church? Under layers of sermons and vision statements, under layers of session meeting discussions and annual meetings, under layers and layers of causes and human need and spiritual hunger, if we took time to peel away all these layers– all the words, all the speeches, all the good intentions–what would this church’s message be to the world? To Charlottesville? To anyone passing by?
So, I have an assignment for you: I invite you to begin painting your message. Take a piece of paper and some crayons or paint, and become an artist. Make it beautiful. Make it colorful. But most of all, paint the message you desire to share with the world.
Jesus once said to a crowd of people sitting on the ground “Let your light shine before people, so that all can see the good things you do and praise God who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) What is your message?