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Senior’s Duke Chapel Sermon March 21 to Seek God Amid Suffering

Tatayana Richardson will preach from the Book of Hebrews Sunday.
Student preacher Tatayana Richardson will preach from the Book of Hebrews Sunday.

Duke senior Tatayana Richardson will deliver a sermon on God helping people find peace in turbulent times as part of Duke Chapel’s online worship service at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 21.

Richardson, a double major in religion and African American studies, has been selected to be this year’s Duke Chapel student preacher. She will work with chapel ministers and Divinity School faculty members to refine the sermon she submitted.

“As someone thinking about ordination, preaching a sermon has always been something that I have been interested in,” said Richardson, a Chapel Scholar and member of the Duke Wesley campus ministry who writes a column in the Chronicle about matters of faith. “I chose to apply this year, not only because it was my senior year, but because I felt that this year I had the most solid theological grounding and understanding of the true work and responsibility that goes into preaching.”

As part of the Sunday morning service, the sermon will be livestreamed on the chapel website and YouTube channel, as well as broadcast on WDNC Radio (AM 620) and the Duke Hospital television system (channel 12).

She will preach on a section of the fifth chapter of the Book of Hebrews that describes Jesus as a high priest who undergoes suffering.

“I was drawn to the passage because it allows for reflection on Christ in His humanity, letting us look at Christ in a different light than we usually see him in,” she said.

Richardson said she has already been practicing the delivery of her sermon with friends, her campus minister and by herself.

“I hope that people will hear that God is always here to carry our weight when it gets too heavy for us to bear alone,” she said about her sermon, “and that no pain surpasses His ability to help us find peace in chaos.”