“Healing…” — Gospel and Sermon for Sunday May 22, 2022

Pastor Matthew Best
10 min readMay 22, 2022

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/kek78W5Xr1g

The manuscript for the sermon is below:

In 1992, the band REM released the song “Everybody Hurts.” It’s different than most of REM’s songs. The lead singer’s voice is very clear in this song. He wanted to make sure everyone heard and understood what he was singing.

The song is an anti-suicide song. The lyrics are powerful, emotional, and speak right to the heart. So powerful that the song has literally saved people’s lives. Michael Stipe, the lead singer, was interviewed about the song and said this, “It saved a few. People have told me. And I love hearing that. That’s for me, that’s my Oscar, that’s my gold on a shelf right there… that something we did impacted someone’s life in such a profound way. That’s a beautiful thing.” Indeed, it is.

We have a hurting world and society. Our hurts are often out in the open and on full display for everyone to see as a society. Just watch the news, read a paper, check out a social media or news sites, or listen to the gossip around us. There’s a lot of hurt around us. And it can feel overwhelming. What exactly are we supposed to do in the midst of so much hurt and pain and suffering? We can’t solve it all and often we think that we don’t even make a tiny dent with our efforts.

Everybody hurts. Are we even willing to acknowledge our own hurts and pain?

I’m currently reading the book “When Narcissism comes to church,” by Chuck DeGroat. In it he quotes the 19 thcentury preacher Charles Spurgeon who once said “Appear to be what thou art, tear off thy masks. The church was never meant to be a masquerade. Stand out in thy true colors.”

How many of us are hurting? And trying to cope alone? There’s a variety of reasons. Maybe we think that sharing that pain and hurt out in the open with others is a sign of weakness or is somehow attached with shame. Or because it might shatter the façade we’ve spent so long building — you know the façade — that everything is just fine. I have it all together. Just look at my life. Nothing is ever wrong or out of place. What will people think if I show my pain and hurt, my brokenness? What will people say?

I don’t know, maybe people will see the real you, not the mask that we put on to hide what’s really going on. Maybe that’s our real fear — showing who we really are. Or maybe we’re afraid that if we share our…

Pastor Matthew Best

My name is Matthew Best. I’m an ELCA (Lutheran) pastor who attempts to translate church and churchy stuff into everyday language.