Today, I sit with three Bibles on my desk. I actually own six I have discovered, although one is truly Alysse’s from camp one year (it is a Precious Moments Bible in pink!). I’m working on my first sermon. In some ways the prospects of delivering my first sermon frighten me, but it is at least to a sympathetic group--my fellow students and teachers on the priest course. I, of course, volunteered to give my sermon on the first of two nights we are presenting.
I can’t believe how much there is to know and understand in putting a sermon together. You have to choose and understand a Bible verse of course, that is a given. But I never knew the structure that went into the sermon, although understanding that goes a long way to putting it all together.
To prepare for the sermon, aside from choosing the verse, I realized that I hadn’t actually heard a sermon in a few years, because I hadn’t gone to a church for a couple of years. So, as I mentioned in the last blog, I went to St. Peter’s Anglican Church here in Cobourg last Sunday. I also read the sample sermon in our book “The Practice of Preaching.” We also have a few sermons to listen to that our bishop has given in the Sunday services that she records. That gives me lots of audio samples.
I have several pages, handwritten for the moment, as I did a page for each section of the sermon and am working on jotting down points as I think of them. I’m hoping that it all hangs together, when I am done.
Cavan has to go into the city Wednesday night and won’t be back until Friday morning, so that gives me lots of alone time to go over the sermon. I can get quite wordy, so I am hoping to make sure that I stay within the 10 to 12 minutes.
I also mentioned in the last blog that this is the most challenging part of this course so far, but a necessary part, of course. I don’t have an actual physical church to preach in, but knowing how to prepare and present a sermon is really important. I do have a bit of an advantage. I don’t actually mind public speaking. I used to do a lot of it, either at work, or through the MS Society. I haven’t done it recently though, because I do have some memory difficulties. Because I always was well versed in the topic of my presentations, I didn’t have notes, slides perhaps, but never any notes. This is very different. I’m not sure if I should go with point form, or actual sentences, but since I don’t want to forget anything, I need to have something on paper. I will start with point form and see if that is enough, I think.
So, this is my challenge for the week. God willing, I shall rise to the occasion! It would be nice if it was something really epic, but then again, I’d best not get too ambitious. I shall settle for meaningful and understandable. I do need to get the point of the sermon across and if I do nothing else, I must accomplish that.
Well folks, this is my challenge for the week. I pray that you rise to meet all of your challenges. We’ll meet here again next week with the results of the challenge. God bless!