Palm Sunday: Rusty Nails

We are having a Life group fair and communion service on Sunday night. All of the Life group leaders were asked to bring finger foods to share, and we’ll have tables set up in the back of the church for people to browse the groups and meet each other. Then, we’ll move to our seats and have communion together. I’ve been looking forward to it, and since my ladies’ group meets at Whataburger one (very early) morning a week, we’re serving Whataburgers cut into pizza-wedge slices with toothpicks. It should be a hit! 🙂

The staff and elders are tag-teaming during the communion service, and I was asked to do the intro for the theme “Rusty Nails,” which we’ll play at the end of the service. There will be a bowl of nails as a prop/visual. It’s a lovely song, and it was completely new to me:

 

I thought I would share with you my notes that I’ll be speaking from. It’s pretty short (isn’t supposed to be a sermon), but hopefully it will be meaningful to people:

I can’t tell you how many times I have naively prayed over the years, “Lord, use me.” From summer youth camps to college Bible studies to women’s retreats to Life groups and mission trips, I always had such good intentions. I wanted to minister to people, to help the hurting and save the lost. I guess what I really wanted was for God to use me in feel-good ways that made me feel needed and appreciated.

Jesus did a lot of feel-good things in his ministry, as well: he healed the blind and lame; he played with children; he fed the hungry; he had an audience anywhere he went. And yet, he knew – oh, so much more fully than I ever have! – what it truly meant to let God use him. When he prayed in the garden before his arrest, Jesus begged his Father to spare him from what he was about to have to do, but then, he relented and offered himself for God’s use.

I’m not going to sugar-coat it: sometimes, life is hard. It can be painful, and it often doesn’t make sense. When we offer Jesus his rightful place as Lord of our lives, it means that we have to make sacrifices in our otherwise self-centered lives. Yet, nothing … nothing that he calls us to do or to be or to give up could ever compare to what he has already done for us.

These nails represent the sin – your and my sin – that he willingly, painfully, sacrificially paid for on our behalf. They also represent the freedom that we experience when we give ourselves fully to him and say to him, “Not what I want, but what you want.”

 

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