Sunday, October 18, 2009
Laity Sunday at Tinney Chapel with Angela Wylie Preaching
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Tinney Talk, November, 2009, Observations by Joe Dan Boyd
THE POWER OF WORDS was an oft-recurring theme in Angela Wylie’s Oct. 18 Laity Sermon, an existential examination and theological treatise on her personal journey of self-discovery in this life and the Life yet to come. She moved easily between analysis of an Old Testament psalmist, “I will not neglect Your Word,” to an account of the New Testament Gospel, “In the beginning was The Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In one singularly inspired instance, Angela emphasized, almost in awe and amazement, that the Bible contains the very Words of God.
“SAFE JOURNEY” was the title of Angela’s sermon, a profound choice fed in large part by worldly judgments weighed against two recent accomplishments of her heart and hands. One was a nine-month-task of the hands, requiring patience and persistence to produce a large and intricately designed quilt of great utility and beauty. She was certain that it would take first-place in the 2009 Hopkins County quilt contest. Instead, it came in a disappointing third. The other was a spontaneous poem written on scrap paper, in both haste and heartfelt emotion, while riding from Winnsboro to Sulphur Springs with her son Kevin. That the poem survived at all was perhaps an Act of God, Who would bring it to her attention again a bit later.
AN INVITATION TO ENTER A POETRY CONTEST soon arrived by e-mail from Northeast Texas Community College, and Angela was prompted to peruse and polish her still-rough draft of the poem she had written, literally, on the road. Eventually titled, “All That Remains Are The Flowers,” Angela’s ode to a concept of home as reflecting both a sense of place and a spirit of love won first place in the poetry contest, and was reprinted numerous times in unexpected places. The response from readers, some known, others unknown, was overwhelming. All had been keenly touched by Angela’s words. Some said they were moved to tears.
IN HER LAITY SERMON, Angela drew an analogy with something that Jesus said about Eternal Judgment, recorded by Matthew: We will have to account for every careless word we have spoken, for by our words we will be condemned or by our words we will be acquitted! Words, she said, evoke images and emotions that nothing else can. Words may hurt us more than fists. Words may heal us better than medicine.