Sunday, October 15, 2006

Does anyone else get this?

Having preached regularly for some 12 years now,I still don't understand the way that some sermons that you feel are the very best you can manage fall flat as the proverbial pancake, while others, apparently deeply pedestrian, seem to take wing as you climb into the pulpit.
Tonight's words, for Evensong, were inspired by two particularly gruelling Sundays on the trot...the sort of Sunday that inspires good and wise friends to prophecy imminent breakdown if you don't get a grip sooner rather than later. I thought I had taken heed last weekend, but this Sunday saw me celebrating at 10.00, taking a First Communion class immediately after lunch, followed by attending a study group before Evensong, where I preached.After that, I did a quick teaching session for the Youth Group, before limping pathetically home, whimpering gently...and knowing that I had absolutely nothing left to give to anyone!
En route,though, I did preach this...which seemed to me less than dynamic, not madly inspired...and it produced a far more enthusiastic response than things I've been reasonably pleased with, even slightly proud of.
I repeat, I just don't understand!

6 comments:

Sue said...

Equally puzzled here. I suspect it has something to do with the Holy Spirit. She's mysterious that way. :)

Lorna said...

what Sue said.

It's not about you, it's about Him! (or Her)

seriously - as one friend to another -you sound way too busy ...

Mary said...

All of that...
....and also it's a sermon that would speak absolutley directly to some people - not afraid to talk about money and property and schools, uppermost in many minds much of the time, and hard to preach about and so recognise in church.
PS I enjoyed the Syro Phoenician woman too.... I do agree about Jesus changing his mind: you can almost hear the gears grind as it happens!

stuart said...

I think what has been said is right. I know that my best sermons are the ones that God grabs from me and works the spirit within them. They are usually the sermons that God wants preaching and knows exactly who needs to hear them. Incidentally have you ever had that spooky moment whilst preaching a sermon when you realise that God wants you to hear the very message you have just preached. I'm starting to find God is kind of weird like that!

fiona said...

I agree with Mary that it speaks directly and that I often need direct if I'm a) to understand and b) to take any notice.

Of course it's "less than dynamic" - I thought that was the point, it's all of us "dynamicly" chasing our tails who need to stop and rest. Having heard the sermon first hand I loved it although it did make me alternately guilty at rushing round doing, and smug that I live in one of the few roads in the area where at least some of the neighbours live without rushing around working a 60 hour day each (and thus can provide a free safehaven for much of the local youth).

dp23 said...

I can sympathise with the sermon part - sometimes balloons with at least a LITTLE bit of helium, and others with what feels like quite a lot of lead....and you can never tell which way it will go. I can also sympathise with the post-pulpit feeling; sometimes what felt like garbled chaff can (under God, and to His glory alone) be a means of blessing and challenge to a brother or sister. The preacher is ever just (and never any more than) a channel, or a sower of seed - and God gives the increase.