Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday Morning Preacher: Marathon Christmas Weekend

The Friday night sermon was pretty good. The Saturday sermon was OK. The Sunday sermon...not so much.

I've never been the absolute solo clergy person in a parish before (well, I did a summer stint in Fort Bragg, but even then there was a clergy associate; besides, it was summer). This was BRUTAL, man. I thought I was doing well, having two sermons in reasonable shape last week. But the Sunday sermon--whew! I was already pooped on Saturday and could not gear myself up to whip that sermon into shape.

Christmas is tough to preach anyway. What more can I add to what's already been said? And then to preach it three days in a row! I felt like I was grasping at straws towards the end, there. The thing that saved my bacon, preaching-wise? Reading lots of blogs in the previous weeks. Lots of people sharing lots of thoughts and images which stirred up my own imagination. I owe a lot to The Lead, Dirty Sexy Ministry, and Seven Whole Days who pointed me to articles, sermons, and images that I used on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Christmas I respectively.

Solo pastor or no, I didn't do Christmas alone. The other thing that saved my sorry self? I didn't need to worry about anything else. I don't know about your church, but at All Saints, San Leandro, the lay leadership was incredible. Everybody did what needed doing; I basically just showed up--as did everybody else. Those services wouldn't have happened without a lot of help and support. One of the things that first drew me to the Episcopal Church was that the sermon wasn't the focus of the service. I am so grateful to all of those who made the services run so smoothly you didn't even notice.

I doff my hat to all of us who served our hearts out last weekend. I'm taking the day off. I hope you are too.

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