Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Preaching is like riding a bike...

I love the phrase "it's like riding a bike." It is a good analogy in some ways. Once you learn to ride a bike, you don't need to learn again. However, if you have ever gone a couple of years without riding a bike you will remember that there is a certain "break in period" when you start riding again. Most of us, when we get back on, stay on a little too long the first time and need to raid the medicine cabinet the next morning to soothe all those muscles that aren't used to that sort of activity.

So with that, preaching is "like riding a bike." I wrote a post least year called: The Rhythm of Preaching (or lack thereof) where I discussed the difficulty I was having preaching on a non-regular basis. While now I am facing a different challenge. This week I begin preaching on a regular basis. Starting Sunday, I will be preaching just about every Sunday for the foreseeable future in our South Sanctuary. This is great news for me. I love preaching and I love traditional worship. However, preaching every week is more than an additional assignment, it is a life change.

There is something about having that opportunity to share the word every week that becomes part of nearly every other part of your life. As soon as you say "amen" at the last service on Sunday, the clock resets and you are thinking and praying about next week.

In a totally non-spiritual way, the change in this dynamic takes me back to my radio days. When I was on the air five days a week, I was always thinking toward that next show. Every show I watched, article I read, experience I had got filtered through the lens of "can I use this on my show?" When I moved off the air and into the production room, it took my brain a while to stop collecting and sorting that data. When I moved back to the on air booth, it took me a while to get that filter back.

Well this is a very different filter and lens but a filter and lens just the same. One of my preaching professors in seminary taught me the habit of printing out that week's scripture and carrying it around in my pocket. This creates and opportunity to think about it more and be on the lookout for how God is speaking about it in the world and in your life. So, I am back to doing that. I just need to remember it is there.

This morning to took a run at creating a sermon for Sunday. I apparently have one and it seems to make sense. Fortunately I have a few days to keep thinking and praying. And I may be sore in the morning.


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