8.09.2007

Cut from the Sermon

I didn't want to lose this entirely because it was a fairly big moment for me this week. As obvious as it seems, I realized it's something I don't think about in my preparation and perhaps I should think about it more. Maybe it's true for you too. Anyhow, like it or not, this was cut from my sermon. Maybe it will go back in. God knows.

Several weeks ago, I was honored in the presence of all who sat at table with me. And though we did spend a significant amount of time eating and drinking, it was a preaching conference for young women clergy that brought us together. Each of us – serving God as women under the age of 40 – felt honor to be in that presence. We share something unique. Something a little bit different. {missing transition here}

During this sacred time together, we got to preach twice. And the feedback we offered each other covered four areas: biblical interpretation, theological interpretation, language and embodiment. Like the Pharisees, we watched closely. We listened closely to hear these four things. And as I watched and listened, I heard something surprising in myself. For someone that relishes in theology, I don’t preach theology.

I was taught in seminary to write a thesis statement indicating what my sermon would be about. I could never do it – because I never knew. The writing process in the end would tell me. Or maybe it wouldn’t be until weeks after I preached my sermon that I realized that that was a sermon about atonement. Or salvation. Or even grace.

4 comments:

Alex said...

Nice...

Nueva Cantora said...

Isn't that such a gift, in going back to preach an "old" sermon?

erica said...

I always felt the same way about the theme statement. (And then I was bummed out on Thursday when w ehad to come up with one!)

Teri said...

Can I just say: You're fabulous!!

We were taught to write "focus and function" statements. And while they were helpful in the beginning, and can be helpful if I'm stuck, usually I figure it out along the way.