So, have you been watching the Winter Olympics this week? Did you hear about Lauryn Williams? She is an African-American woman from Pittsburgh, PA who made history this week, becoming the fifth athlete in the history of the games to win a medal in both the summer and winter games. In the 2004 summer games in Athens, Lauryn won a silver medal in the 100 meter dash. Then in 2012 in London, she was part of 4×100 meter relay team that won gold. On Tuesday, she was half of the two woman bobsled team that won a silver medal. They lost to the Canadians by a tenth of a second. If they had won gold, then Lauryn would have been the first woman to win gold in both games.
Lauren Williams has only been competing in the bobsled for about seven months. She is the “brakeman” on the team, and has described her job as running very fast at the beginning, jumping on the sled, and then keeping her head down. Elana Meyers was the driver on the sled. She has been competing in the bobsled since 2007 and won the bronze medal in 2010 at the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
The pressure was on for Elana, as they times were running extremely close to the Canadians. But just before their last run, that would decide it all, Lauren gave her some advice for when it was all over. “You get out of that sled and cheer like you won it, no matter what happens,” was what she said.
That’s good advice. And I think it is something of what weekly worship is all about. Yes, we come to praise and give thanks to God, but we also are there to support and encourage one another. You may have had a great week and things have gone exactly as you wanted them to. Or you may have just missed your goal, in spite of your best efforts. Or you may have blown it entirely, with nothing to show for all your hard work. Whatever happens, come to church and cheer like you won it. And we will cheer along with you. And God will cheer as well, because you are a champion in God’s eyes.
This week we will be cheering the Cherub Choir as they sing in the first service. I am preaching on Leviticus 19:1,2, 9-18, and Matthew 5:38-48. My sermon title is: Nobody is Perfect.
Stay in One Peace,