Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday morning preacher: Preaching in the first person (ay ay ay)

I had a devil of a time coming up with a way to approach the sermon that you see below. What was killing me was I didn't want to start with "I," even though in one way or another, that is what tends to happen. "The other day, I..." "One thing I have noticed...", etc. On Saturday, I was literally sitting in my office with my head in my hands trying to come up with a way into this sermon. I finally gave up and said "I." And after that, it poured right out.

I have to admit, I'm still a little uncomfortable with the sermon. I think it's all right. But there's something a bit dubious about preaching in the first person, it seems to me. As a once in a blue moon technique, OK. And (apparently) as a desperate Sunday morning Hail Mary pass, sure. But I don't want to make a habit of it. There's too much focus on me personally as the preacher rather than on God or the Word or how we can love one another.

What do you think?

1 comment:

songs of a soul journey said...

Perhaps you could think of it in this way: you are part of the great fractal of us all. Can you speak to someone else's perception of fractal life, from within their skin? No. This would be putting words in someone else's mouth. You can only speak to your own experience and deeply listen while others share theirs with you.

I know there are people who speak of self-reference as being somehow incorrect or in some way self-centered, but I cannot imagine anyone having another frame of reference on life.

Another way to say this is that you can only pass on a joke if (1) you heard someone else tell it or (2) you made it up yourself. In both cases, it is unlikely that you would impart it without using the word "I". Hence, the timeless opening line "a funny thing happen on the way to..."