I preached this past Sunday, and the sermon notes are now posted on Reconciler's Blog. I had long hand notes but no manuscript. At some point in the sermon I left behind even the notes I had written, so I am unclear the relationship between the notes I brought into the pulpit and the sermon I preached.
This experience of not knowing exactly what the final form of a sermon one has preached always feels a bit odd to me. I could not even reconstruct the sermon as preached. At some point I simply got into the flow of the sermon and the ideas and the Spirit and I do not have full recollection of what I said. I am fairly certain that it bears some relation to what I had planed to say, but I also know that some of what I planned to say I didn't and that I said somethings that simply came to me in the moment that I now could not recall. Preaching such a sermon feels very vulnerable and exposed.Though, this sort of thing seems to be happening more and more, since I let go of needing a manuscript to preach. Also, I think my preaching is better in allowing a much of the sermon to be extemporaneous.
I am also in an interesting space: I am going through a period of self-examination and reconnecting with aspects of my journey that first sent me on the path that has lead me to this place. I am finding it very challenging to preach and pastor as I am also going through a period of time of some fairly deep self examination. It is difficult to know how public to be about such things, and how much detail to give. Which also relates to my not blogging much. I am very aware that this is a public forum that members of my congregation read. It's not that I feel the need t hide but that I am aware that there are things that could be a burden to a congregation for a Pastor to share. Its an interesting balance, one that I am unsure how to keep at the moment and may be erring on the side of silence. But according to the Desert Amma's and Abba's that is the better side to err on and so, I think I will for the moment follow that counsel.