>photo © 2010 Joel Montes de Oca | more info (via: Wylio)
I feel like I’ve been on a roll lately with sermons. Or, perhaps to say it more faithfully, God’s been on a roll through my sermons. I think there has been more dialogue about preaching with the congregation and I’ve been going out of my way to include more visual presentation material — powerpoint slides, images, even movies. It’s been a challenge and the way our church is set up presently, it means that I’m manning the computer/projector along with the sermon. But I’ve been getting good feedback and some constructive criticism. It hasn’t all been sugar-coated.
But yesterday was awesome. I’m not sure the sermon text or my presentation was all that great, but the topic and the sermon as a whole seemed to really resonate with people. It was on GRUDGES and was called “LIFE’S TOO SHORT TO HOLD A GRUDGE.” And so we talked about the fleeting nature of life and the abundant life that God intends for us. Then we talked of how grudges keep us from being the people God wants us to be and how it accomplishes nothing but making us slaves to our past and how grudges keep us from any hope of reconciliation and, beyond that, even civility with those for whom we carry the grudge.
Three people told me that they thought I was preaching directly to them. One person asked for a copy and proceeded to text portions of my sermon to their family members. Another person emailed me and said that the sermon led them to have a heart to heart with someone who had wronged them and that they wanted further conversation about it.
I think I preach pretty well. I think I’ve been blessed with a fairly good ability to communicate, although I would never classify myself as a “great preacher.” “Pretty good” seems fair. But, I guess I wasn’t prepared for God to work through today’s sermon the way God did. I’m humbled. I’m awed. I pray that God is able to work this way again…maybe next week.
I’m also kind of nervous that I might have “peaked.” What if next week is a dud and the pieces just don’t come together?
I guess I better start praying now.