I highly recommend the Academy Award winning movie, The King’s Speech. The film is about King George VI of the United Kingdom. The King has a speech impediment that he overcomes through relentless coaching that remedies his fears. My favorite scene in the movie is when the King is in Westminster Abbey, practicing his lines for his upcoming coronation. His coach is prodding him, coaxing him along to find his voice. In a moment of released frustration, the King yells out into the empty, historic abbey: “I do have a voice!”
I am so proud of all of you. Jimmy and I worked very hard to teach the Gospel of John during the season of Epiphany; and you responded magnificently. Each session had moments of spiritual awakening and new discoveries. Together, we learned that John makes a witness, a testimony, as his voice cries out down two thousand years, leading millions of people to the good news of Jesus Christ. Together, we heard God’s voice, giving us courage to find our voice, to make our witness.
Last weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to teach at the Iona School for Ministry at Camp Allen. The Iona School for Ministry is the brainchild of the Diocese of Texas; the Iona School is a place to train and educate people who will be ordained as deacons or bi-vocational priests in our diocese. Last weekend, I was teaching a class on “Practical Preaching” at the Iona School. I led the students through a coaching exercise, helping them to “find their voice” so that they can make a witness, a testimony to their faith in the pulpits and in the pubs where they will proclaim the Gospel.
You can do this simple exercise, as well, to find your voice. Choose one or more of the following phrases and fill in the blanks:
* I follow Jesus because ________.
* The hope that is within me is ________.
* I believe that Jesus gives me eternal life because ________.
If you will do this exercise, filling in the blank with a short answer, then you will have a short witness, a testimony of faith, to share with anyone at anytime at a moment’s notice. You will find that you do have a voice and something to say.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 9. This Lent, it is our turn. It is our turn to be a witness to the Faith. It is our turn to step up our commitment to Jesus Christ. This Lent, I look forward to hearing you proclaim:
“I do have something to say. I do have a witness to give. I do have a voice.”