This Easter, my church launched a seven-part sermon series that explored issues that keep Christians from being "Fully Alive". We dealt with issues like fear, shame, woundedness, and pride. Each week, a member of the church staff wrote the script of a video that dealt with each issue. My contribution came in the last week and the topic was authenticity. Below is the script as originally written followed by the final video.
There's a guy - Adam - in my small group. He takes off his ring every week when we sit down to talk. His wedding ring. It's a reminder. See, Adam had an affair. Years ago. A girl from work. He travelled a lot. Anyway, how it happened isn't the point. It happened. Remarkably, his wife stayed with him. She told him she still loved him but she wasn't going to let him stay the way he was. Then she made him confess to us. Adam says that was the most Christlike thing anyone has ever done for him. He calls it his "gospel moment". There were a lot of tears after that — for year's after that. And counseling and setbacks. It's been a long road. But now...well now Adam is a new man.
So anyway, every week when it's time to share what's going on in our lives, Adam takes off his ring. See, he used to take off his ring when he travelled. And so this little ritual is a reminder. He takes it off and puts it in the middle of the table and then he tells us everything going on in his heart. He peels back all the layers. We all do.
That's usually a pretty incredible moment. It's holy. Every week I wonder, "Are we going to do this again? Are we really brave enough for this?" And then Adam takes off his ring. It's my favorite part of small group.
Adam says he feels naked without the ring. Strange to talk about being naked, not just because of his past but also because of his name. Adam. Reminds me of Genesis. "They were naked and not ashamed." It's almost like choosing to feel naked — refusing to cover up — is Adam's way of getting back to Eden. Of choosing shalom. Living authentically instead of pretending.
It's been a hard road with Adam. It's been hard on all of us. It's our biggest regret. But it has also brought us together. It's wierd how the things you think will drive people away turn out to be the things that hold you together.
Anyway, that's Adam. I love that guy ... and his ring.