Words don’t come easy- updated with audio

Well, generally, they do (you wouldn’t have guessed, would you?).  But this week, for the purposes of sermon writing, they wouldn’t.  

I’ve written a lot of words in the last couple of weeks.  I’ve finished a 6000 word essay (with its 20,000 words of supporting appendices).  I’ve blogged.  I’ve given up writing sermons and started to mind map them instead.  But as a newish curate, I’ve never had quite so many sermons to preach as I do now, and I guess the responsibility is starting to make itself felt.  

If the words in my essay aren’t the right ones, I’ll get a lower mark, possibly fail.  Which isn’t pleasant, but only really affects me.   If the words on my blog aren’t right, I mis-represent who I am, which is not what I set out to do and is a pain to correct, and which might annoy readers who never return.  Or worse, misused words might upset friends – but I hope you’d shout at me, and give me another chance.  

Sermons though, are different again.  Sermons have to be preached with integrity – I can’t preach sounding like someone else.  They have to be preached to the congregation hearing them, each person will hear the same words differently.  And of course they may, by the Grace of God, contain a word for someone who needs to hear, not me, but God.  Writing sermons is a responsibility.  So I’ve taken to drawing them instead, but even that didn’t want to happen yesterday.  I had run right out of words.  I tried starting with images (as in the first photo) and then remapped as shown in the second photo.  I recorded myself again at 8am, listened back, and discovered that although I hadn’t particularly said what I thought I was going to say, I had preached something coherent, logical, and possibly thought provoking.  

Yesterday I tweeted that all I wanted to preach was “we are rooted and grounded in God’s love”.  This morning, I am content that with the help of God, that’s exactly what I did.

And here’s what I preached in that morning…


2 responses to “Words don’t come easy- updated with audio

  1. I have yet to preach, but is seems to be that the preacher, needs to be felt as speaking from their heart. I've no problem with notes being part of the presentation, but I find head down, not meeting our eyes, loses the audience.

    Heard a fantastic sermon from our Curate, Julia this morning, relating to the feeding of the 5000. She drew attention to her first packed meal when she started at school, and what happened when someone else ate it for her. At 5, she was facing the fact that someone might have needed it more than her!! She reminded us of when our first packed meal was had – which resonated with me from my first one made for us just after I joined the army in 1967. It was a total disappointment, the sandwiches were not fresh, but curled up and dry. The drink was warm and had curdled and the piece of fruit was wrinkled and had clearly passed it's shelf life.

    Julia's reflection on the boy with the basket of 5 loaves and 2 fishes, which fed the 5000 and how might have felt on being deprived of his packed meal really resonated. Particularly with thinking about being thankful for what we have, but putting others in greater need before ourselves. It helps to understand when a parable is dissected in this way and made in a recognisable, real life situation, which we can all find in our own life.

    This was authentic teaching through preaching and I and others joined the que to thank her afterwards.

    The sermon was delivered simply and with touches of humour, which belies the amount of preparation she must have put in to put it together.

    I sometimes think that we come away from church refreshed from the sermon, but how often do we express our thanks and highlight how it has helped us to the preacher. Probably not as often as we should.

    So thank you for what you do, the agonies that you put yourself through to deliver sermons, week in and week out. I've not heard you preach, one day, hopefully I will.

  2. Many thanks for your comment, you are quite right that it is hard to get specific feedback on any sermon, good or bad!

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