I just came in from my morning walk.
My devotions led me to this.
Perhaps a pastor friend or two can relate.
It was a disaster and I was in the middle of it.
I knew it was happening but somehow couldn’t alter the course.
It was Trinity Sunday last and I had prepared my sermon as usual. Maybe better than usual.
I haven’t been able to see well enough to read for quite some time so I don’t have a text and seldom do I have notes. The folks who attend both of our Sunday morning services can attest that the sermons are the same.
Trinity Sunday not so much.
At MSLB I didn’t feel well, things distracted me that normally I convert to an emphasis, I got started in the middle (don’t ask me why), I fumbled my illustrations and missed my points, and I could not for the life of me get it back. In all the annals of sermons preached there has never occurred such stumbling, mumbling, and bumbling.
The ending was painful for me but surely an enormous relief for the beautiful and long suffering folks who had gathered.
Only the strong of heart and faith among them will return next week.
I kicked myself for an hour, indulged in a goodly bit of self pity, then faced the largest and most attentive crowd we’ve had at the 11 o’clock since pre pandemic.
It certainly wasn’t the greatest sermon ever preached but at least it was the sermon I intended to preach.
In the hour between the close of the MSLB and the beginning of the 11 o’clock, besides a butt kicking, I didn’t review my notes and I didn’t write my resignation letter.
I sat outside in the sunshine, listened to a mockingbird sing an aria, sipped a cup of coffee, watched the cars streaming into the parking lot, saw the saints hugging and greeting one another, smelled the fresh breeze, came to terms with something past I cannot change…
As our Friend and I walked a memorable hike we were talking about disastrous sermons and dramatic reversals. He smiled at me the way he does before his words from Sunday at 10:59 a.m. echoed…
“We got this.”