Thursday, May 14, 2009

Preaching and Living in the Moment

In a recent sermon, Lesley was sharing her exhilaration at the wide tangle of interesting scriptures open to her in the post-Easter lessons set down for her Sunday. She talked to Helen who enthused about “Doubting Thomas – I just love that bit”.
But, said, Lesley, there came a time in the week when she had to set aside all the bits that weren’t relevant to her chosen passages and really focus on the texts for the day – a significant insight for any new preacher, of course…
What she said next was not central to her theme, but this little aside really hit me: “And life, she said, “is like that. We can only live the one life. We can’t live for anybody else. We must live in the body we are given, choosing from the huge bag of possibilites, the kind of life we want to live.”
Her sermon resumed, and I see it was cheerful and optimistic in themes of resurrection and miracle. But the gem I have carried since was her precious reminder of the importance of my own life and how it is lived in the days and years that remain to me.
Preaching is often like that – the little asides can be as memorable as the well-developed major themes. But neither is of much use unless it speaks to our personal, intimate, individual needs.

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