I have finished. I can’t quite believe it. It should have been a very difficult task. I should be struggling through it. I should be looking for distractions that will keep me from the task. But it happened so quickly and easily that I am now wondering whether I have got it right!
What have I finished?
The sermon I am going to preach at my Mum’s wedding this weekend.
It’s a strange feeling, writing a sermon to preach at my Mum’s wedding. What can I say to her? What will she think? What will her new husband think of his son-in-law preaching to him? Will I get away with some of the jokes? (If I do I may share them on my blog next week – if I am still alive!)
The good news (and what I am relying on) is that I am not basing my words on my experience or being nominated as the best husband in the world. It would be an extremely short sermon if I was! My words are based on God’s word. Preaching is an amazing experience where the same Spirit who inspired lots of different people to write things down about God over many centuries is the same one who inspires as I read those words two millennia later (at least) and is the same one who gives me words to say and then inspires them in the hearts and minds of those who listen. It’s an immense privilege. Not just to do that at my Mother’s wedding, but to do it week in, week out.
TRUE story about preaching
A famous Baptist preacher was on a preaching tour in Africa. It was his tradition to ask his interpreters how you say ‘Good morning’ in the local dialect so he could begin his sermon with those words.
One morning, as he walked from the vestry into the main church he went past two doors which, from the symbols on them, were clearly the ladies and gents toilets. There were words on the doors which he decided to add to ‘good morning’ in the local dialect.
At the start of his sermon he stood up and said what he thought was “Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.”
There was a stunned silence.
Then one or two sniggers.
Eventually the whole congregation was roaring with laughter.
Confused, he turned to his interpreter and asked, “What did I just say?”
The interpreter grinned. “You just said, ‘Good morning water closets and urinals!'”