1. everyday theology; thinking soul,  1.a. Reformed Theology

Karl Barth, and reflection on “Time”

One person can change your life. For me, that everyday saint who changed my life is Rev. Cynthia Jarvis. I might have understood only half of her sermon back in those days, but her sermon was still special to me in my first home church in Chestnut Hill, PA. I am honored to share this manuscript; one of many sermons of Rev. Jarvis that changed and shaped my life with our Everyday God-talk community.

This sermon explores the intersection of English literature, journalism, reformed theology, and biblical wisdom. It shows the potential of how a sermon delivered by a reformed theologian-pastor can be both intellectually profound and spiritually powerful in our everyday space – a church. It can encompass the depth and breadth of our struggles in life simultaneously. I perceive the message as comforting yet capable of igniting a small fire in our soul, body, and heart—or, in more Western American terms, in our mind, body, and spirit. The message propels us forward and fully present in God’s time, transcending the limitations of our human language and knowledge.

“The preacher of Ecclesiastes is among the others. Immersed in the effort to make sense of our time, he considers the work his hands have done, the toil he has spent doing it and concludes “all was vanity and a chasing after wind; there was nothing to be gained under the sun.” Even at his poetic best, in the last chapter of a book that barely made it into the canon, the preacher believes himself left alone to make his own meaning. […] He can only conclude at dusk that all is lost, everything is vanity. “Our time, the time we know and possess, is and remains lost time,” according to Barth, Noel Coward notwithstanding, “even when we believe that God is the creator of time.” “We need,” says Snow, stating the obvious, “to get past the anxiety. The mere thought of [your end] can send adrenaline flooding through your system. A dizzy, unfocused panic seizes you. Your heart thumps; your head swims. You think of nothingness and swoon.” We need to get past the anxiety but how?”

Do you want to delve deeper into the intricate connections between the stories of the biblical author, a poet, a journalist, and a theologian? We are honored to share the complete script of Rev. Jarvis’ sermon here.

Nothing Is Lost C Jarvis Sermon

Remember to provide proper citation and acknowledgment to the everyday god-talkers—especially our pastors, the faithful theologians in the pulpit. If this sermon resonates with you and inspires you to share a similar message, consider recognizing those who bring transformative change to our lives. They are the ones guiding us on our spiritual journey.