It's a little after noon on a typical Thursday afternoon, and yet; nothing is ever typical.
This evening I will co-preach at the student worship service with my friend Olia. She has never preached before, and as we live in a fairly conservative, predominately Catholic culture - women don't often preach. She is nervous, but I have full confidence in her ability, spiritual maturity, and calling. It will be great.
Also, the translator for my half of the sermon has never translated in front of a crowd before. I trust him completely. Also, we're going to incorporate the arts into the service by painting part of a picture each week. That should be fun.
Our sermon tonight is "Angry Jesus." We'll highlight the fact that for many people our age, God is seen as angry and wrathful ... and they have a point. In the Old Testament God is often full or wrath, and in the New Testament Jesus carries on the tradition. But we will also highlight the fact that the Triune God is angry for very specific reasons ... and they might not be what we have come to believe. Anger is a healthy emotion, especially when it coincides with demanding justice.
I usually include a write up of my sermon - but, I don't have anything written up this week. We have an outline, but my sermon will not be a manuscript sermon this week. There will be a lot of discussion, exchange, and (angry) argument between the two preachers - and some of it will be in Ukrainian.
This should be an interesting Thursday!