Over the past 18 months or so, my Vicar has very kindly let me loose during various Sunday morning services to try out my preaching skills (so far, nobody has shouted ‘heresy’ – and seeing as I’ve done a couple of Trinity Sundays, that’s probably a minor miracle…).
Now when it comes to sermon prep, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy it. I think it’s amazing how, given time and prayer and contemplation, a person can – hopefully – plug in to what God wants to say and – hopefully – say it. I think it’s even more amazing that often what ends up coming out of my mouth, is not necessarily what I was planning on saying at all. And more amazing still? God reveals more of Himself to me, and more of myself to me too, whilst I’m prepping. Wow!
But there’s something that I don’t understand. And maybe I never will. Why oh why can’t I prep a halfway decent sermon before Thursday? It’s not like I haven’t tried. I’ve tried this evening. I’ve got my Bible, I’ve popped my thinking cap on, I’ve picked out a line from the Gospel reading…
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
…and I’ve been pondering on and praying about it, since Monday. And all the words and ideas are whirring around inside my head and on my paper in note form. But they just, won’t come.
And the daft thing is I know this isn’t writer’s block. It’s just ‘Pre-Thursday-itis’.
It’s the same when I’m doing stuff for Junior Church. Monday Tuesday Wednesday – nada. Thursday – ta-da!
I’ve spoken to a number of preachers over the years about this phenomenon and it seems to be borne out that it’s almost (almost) the later the better. In fact one person that I knew a number of years back, used to completely avoid anything sermon like until Saturday teatime. Blimey Charlie – now that is cutting it fine. But I guess that ‘the wind blows where it will’ and as long as it’s not in the form of hot air coming out of someone’s mouth, then all will be well.
So I’m going to go now. I’ll probably put some washing in, clean something that doesn’t need cleaning, faff on facebook and generally try to while away the hours until Thursday – and hopefully inspiration – dawns!