The View From A Different Seat

I've never been a season ticket holder for any sports team. However, I've attended a Cincinnati Reds game and sat in the "cheap seats." But if I remember right, it came with ballpark food. So all-in-all, pretty good. I've attended a Colts game at the old RCA Dome and sat in a corporate box. If I remember, it was at the end of the field. But there was food, so all-in-all, it was pretty good. I've attended a few Colts games at Lucas Oil Stadium. Our seats were just above the lower set of seats, dead square in the middle of the end zone. No food was provided, but still pretty good seats. I've attended a few Pacers games in the past, but I don't really remember where I sat.

There are all types of seats and different locations to where the main action is. But, for the most part, all of the seats are generally OK. They just offer different perspectives.

In a couple of weeks, I have the opportunity and privilege to deliver my last sermon to Southport UMC as an appointed pastor in the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. After this month, as I retire, I will no longer be on staff and will no longer be appointed as a pastor here.

As I began my journey to pastor, I read a book called From Pew to Pulpit. While the book is about preaching, what I want to focus on today is the title: "From Pew to Pulpit." That in fact is what happened to me. I went from sitting in the pew (actually, here at Southport, we use chairs) to speaking from the pulpit in some capacity most weeks. Really, what that means is I got the opportunity to sit in a new seat. (With COVID seating, you probably know that I get to sit in a chair on the ramp just to the right of the stage.) It is the same kind of seat everyone sits in. But it has a different perspective. Going along with that seat is the opportunity to share announcements, offer prayers, and preach as I participate in leading worship. I went from pew to pulpit.

But as I retire from being an appointed pastor, I will go from pulpit to pew. Same kind of seat, but no longer on the ramp. I will simply be sitting in a seat with a different perspective. Unlike a sports venue where you have luxury seats and cheap seats, seats with food and seats without food, seats at a church are all good.

And it doesn't matter what seat we sit in, we are all loved by God. John 3:16 (NLT) says:  16 "For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." God loved the world, not just a segment of it. Everyone who believes?not just those who sit in the best seats.

We might sit in different seats, but God loves us all the same.

Grace and hope to you,
Pastor Doug