Writing a sermon is like riding a bike. You have to wear a helmet, bright clothing and lights at night, and you have to avoid potholes and keep your balance. Or… you never forget how to do it. I am hoping it is the latter. Today I am going to be preparing my first sermon for a few weeks following my surgery. I am looking forward to both the preparation and the preaching parts of the process (nice alliteration there!).
Technically I am not back ‘in harness’ following the operation – I am doing this in my spare time to fill a gap in the preaching rota at the church. It will give me something constructive to do today. Of course today the weather is gorgeous – blue skies across Colchester and the sun is already beating down. I will take my books and paper outside to do my preparation but I may have to come back inside for the actual writing as the brightness may make it difficult to see the screen on my laptop. Inspiration may come but perspiration certainly will!
I am hoping that inspiration comes easily, or at least that I won’t fall asleep in the sunshine as I work (that’s the congregation’s job when I preach). For those of you who have never prepared a sermon, I find it an amazing experience – taking words that were written thousands of years ago by people inspired by the Spirit of God and applying them to today’s culture and circumstances inspired by the same Spirit of God. A wonderful partnership between God and people.
That partnership is not limited to preaching. It’s how all of us live. One of my favourite verses in the Old Testament is:
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
It speaks to me of how God is with us always and if we listen to him carefully he will guide us. He will correct us, encourage us, lead us and point us in the right direction.
True ‘direction’ story from the Reader’s Digest:
When the skipper of an Icelandic trawler accidentally rammed Englishman Jim Hughes’s yacht, he caused £20,000 worth of damage. Exactly a year and a day before, reported the Times, the skipper, Eriker Olafsson, had hit the same boat, causing £27,000 in damage.
What are the odds of this happening twice? Pretty good, since Olafsson purposely steered toward Hughes to apologize for the previous year’s collision.