A Mercer theology student can be heard on a nationally broadcast radio program on Nov. 24.
Victoria Lawson, a second-year Master of Divinity student at the McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta, recorded a sermon for Day 1 and was interviewed by host Rev. Peter Wallace in mid-September.
The weekly program, a ministry of the Alliance for Christian Media and formerly known as “The Protestant Hour,” has been broadcast since 1945 and currently airs on more than 200 radio stations in the Unites States and abroad as well as at Day1.org.
Lawson grew up in Catherine, Alabama, and earned a bachelor’s degree in religion at Samford University in Alabama. In addition to her graduate studies at Mercer, she currently is a children’s ministry intern at Wieuca Road Baptist Church in Atlanta and a volunteer with Young Lives. She also is working on publishing a devotional book, titled “Read This If You’re Discouraged.”
Lawson said Samford religion professor Dr. Jim Barnett is the reason she decided to go into seminary. It was in his class that she discovered she loved preaching. Then as a “Samford Sunday” participant, she was given the opportunity to preach and develop her skills at several churches throughout Alabama.
“You have those people who see something in you even when you don’t,” Lawson said.
Dr. Barnett recommended Lawson to be a featured preacher on Day 1 and connected her with the Rev. Wallace. Over the summer, she was one of several young ministers who participated in a panel discussion hosted by Day 1. A few months later, she recorded her segment for Day 1.
“I didn’t realize how big of a deal it was initially. It had been months in the works,” Lawson said. “I didn’t realize how much the Day 1 program did. I was super excited to be a part of it.”
Her sermon is titled “Finding Grace in Unexpected Places” and draws from passages in the book of Luke in which Jesus forgave the two criminals being crucified beside him.
“You don’t expect to find grace in moments when you deserve otherwise,” Lawson said. “Dealing with school and work and life in general, sometimes we can pile so much onto our plates, all with good intentions. When things don’t work out how I think they should, I can sometimes beat myself up about it.
“God loves our desire to get it right,
even when we don’t get it right.”
The introduction for Lawson’s sermon takes excerpts from one of her blog posts, titled “What a 6-year-old Taught Me About Grace.” The entry talks about a time when Lawson cheered up her embarrassed niece by tickling her. This incident reminded Lawson of how God doesn’t call people out or condemn them when they make mistakes, but instead shows his love for them.
Lawson said she was honored to be in the Day 1 studio and to follow in the footsteps of the amazing and experienced preachers who have been featured on the program.
“It just reminds me of the importance of what people see in you and to believe in that,” she said. “I keep referring to my time as an undergraduate student where professors said, ‘I think you’re really good at this.’ To get an opportunity to explore that has been such an amazing and wonderful experience.”