Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Art of Writing

Sermon writing/preparation is hard work!

I love the first few steps of diving deep into scripture and opening up all of the questions. I love collaborating with other people and hearing diverse opinions and interpretations of scripture. I even love the initial stage of getting thoughts on paper. Writing and writing... not caring if one paragraph goes with the next.

It's the editing that gets me. The point at which I need to take all of the brilliant (ok, I think it's brilliant) work and trash 78% in order to make it a clear, cohesive, communicable piece of work. Some weeks I'm so rebellious, I barely do editing at all. I claim that the Holy Spirit will move and bring it together. Unfortunately, sometimes the Spirit does move and feeds my rebellious spirit. But, most weeks I know when I've cut editing too short and have done a disservice by not fulfilling my responsibility to proclaim the good word.

It's a fine balance between holding myself accountable to the hard work of proclaiming the gospel and receiving the amazing grace that it will be o.k. no matter how flawed of a vessel I am.

These lessons for me, though certainly foreshadowed in seminary and internships, take on new meaning in these first few months of preaching regularly.  I hope that with time and experience comes great growth. If I'm honest, I'm praying that somewhere along this journey God will just intervene and make it easy. Yet, at the same time I hope that never happens because it is in the hard and long process of editing that I discover the golden nugget (the word that both the community and I need to hear most) and I remember how rewarding this whole process can be.

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