This Sunday (Pentecost 7) we have some sheep and shepherd talk…and I like it. It is a far cry from last week where we had Amos talking about God’s plumb line and Mark talking about John the Baptist being beheaded. Not that we are to shy away from the difficult texts, but it is always fun to deal with ones that are…and I don’t want to say “easy”…but rather fun, descriptive, memorable (like Psalm 23), and other adjectives that just are not coming off my tongue right now. I don’t know what I am preaching on yet but I am sure something will inspire me.
<on that note…about being inspired>
I want to share with you what happened to me last Thursday.
I usually come to my office on Thursday morning with some idea on what scripture I am using in the sermon and with some idea on the direction I will be heading. Last Thursday I was clueless. I had no idea what scripture to preach on and had no idea on even a focus statement. Those are Thursdays that make me a little nervous (“O you of little faith”). So I went up to the sanctuary (as is my custom on Thursday mornings) to read the scripture and talk through some ideas. And before I knew it I had the scripture and focus statement. I ran up to my office and started typing. By the time I was ready to leave for Coffee Choices to have lunch and write the sermon (as is my custom on Thursdays) the sermon was done. The Holy Spirit got a hold of my fingers and went to work. It was quite a sight to behold…and a lot of fun.
“O you of little faith”
That was the phrase I kept hearing. And I should know better because this is not the first time this has happened. It just goes to further remind me that the sermon that is preached on Sunday does not belong to the preacher, but to God. I try to refrain from saying “my sermon” and try to use the phrases like “the sermon” or “God’s message” etc. To get into a “zone” like I did on Thursday is such a humbling thing. It also further reminds me of part of the prayer I pray each Thursday morning (an excerpt and paraphrase of Luther’s sacristy prayer), “I am not a good writer, speaker or preacher and if this was left up to me I would surely bring it all to ruin”. Amen to that.
So with all that in mind I am off to prepare for Sunday or rather…listen for God’s direction. Maybe I should start with God being my shepherd and me following like a little sheep.
Praise be to God!