Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sometimes Sermons Don't Work...

Despite the plethora of sermon-preparation resources at my fingertips (from online sources to my trusty old books and notes), sometimes sermons just don't GELL.

I started working on this one on MONDAY. I spent 5... that's FIVE... hours in the library researching and poking at this sermon. I took three of my own books. I hit up the libraries resources. I drank a whole bottle of water and wore through the battery on my computer. I made a few pages of notes.

Still nothing.

All week long, I read the words of other priests also wrestling with this passage.

Still nothing.

M asked me what I was preaching on.


It's after 11, a time when I usually have at least a draft to work from. What on earth am I supposed to do? Urgh. I have no sermon. John is a most frustratingly obtuse writer, really. Where are we supposed to focus with these musings of his? You'll note there are NO cute children's sermon illustrations centered around THIS passage.

What's a priest to do?

Input is invited from any of my colleagues, active and retired, who happen to be reading this. RC, where'd you get to, these days? Haven't seen you for months!


Sandra said...

Hey lady,
I actually preached this at a children's worship service Sunday morning. I talked about the seed packets the JP has been wandering around with and his desire to keep them pristine and unopened and how unless he risks planting the seeds, he will never get to enjoy the pleasure of a garden. ... Jesus has planted seeds within each of us in the knowledge that we can produce wonderful gardens of caring, concern, and love. We are nurtured so that ...yada yada yada...
Too little too late, I know...

The Vagabond Priest said...

You preached this at a KID's service? Dude! Wow, you are brave.

I just preached a stinker. STIIIIINKER! Bleaaaaah!

Who's the JP? Jesus Person? :-)


Sandra said...

JP is my son -- his initials, actually. This evening he asked to buy bulbs. He is collecting quite a supply of unplanted flowers.

I never seem to be able to predict how a sermon will be received. My impressions after reading the final draft are sometimes so different from what I hear when I deliver the words to a worshipping community.

I do know, however, that adults seem to comment more about the content of "children's sermons" than "grown up" sermons on the same topic.

I am also much more likely to make declarative statements in children's sermons, where in "grown up" sermons I am more likely to ask questions.

Thanks for starting me thinking about this!