I’m a little over two months into preaching [to adults I should say…] every single week. I’ve done this on one other occasion, for about 4 months, as an interim pastor in Broadview, NM. It’s a fun rhythm to get into, though I must admit that it is a difficult rhythm while holding a full-time second job. I think that I’m a pretty decent preacher, but it is definitely an art that I am excited to craft and improve upon. Some weeks, I know I’ve “got it” and some weeks, I know I do not. Now of course, whether or not I have “it” or not is really beside the point, but it is important, nonetheless, for many different reasons.
This all brings me to yesterday…
The content of my sermon was decent. I was preaching from John 15:1-8, talking about pruning, and what it means to abide in Christ, and I finished by saying that to know what to “wish for” (read the passage) is to abide in Christ. To know how to abide in Christ, we should look to the Lord’s prayer, which we, at Trinity, pray each week just before coming to the table, at the end of our Eucharistic liturgy. In this way I was also trying to provide a bit of explanation of why we do what we do (as I moved the placement of the “Lord’s Prayer” after rejoining Trinity as her Pastor a few months ago).
Again, I think the content of the sermon was fine. The delivery, and the arrangement, though, was definitely not my best. Add to that, that (1.) I had awoken at 5am to get Lauren and Lily to the airport (and was subsequently sad that they were gone), that (2.) George Lyons, a New Testament scholar, was in the congregation due to his son’s graduation and his daughter-in-laws pending graduation, and (3.) the loss of power just over halfway through my sermon (and it was pretty dark outside). (I should say that I’m normally quite comfortable addressing fellow scholars–but i just wasn’t all that happy with my sermon!) The result was, in my opinion, not my best sermon to say the least. Still, after awkwardly checking with my congregation about whether or not we should continue, I finished the sermon, and we went on about our business of worship. We even had a cake and punch reception for our many graduates in the dark afterward!
All in all I would say that it was a good morning, but one that I would prefer not to repeat!
May God and the congregation have mercy on me, as I figure out the rhythmical ups and downs of pastoral ministry – weekly preaching in particular!