Rethinking the Preaching Moment
This week's texts are Proverbs 8:22-31 and Colossians 1:15-20.
We're finishing up our fourth week of the Creation series, year C, carved out in September. And our congregation is trying a Multiple Sensory Worship Service for the first time this Sunday.
The preaching moment is audacious... to think we can craft 1500 words that speak to a diverse community - old and young, male and female, rich and poor, formally educated or not, readers or not, all with diverse learning styles. And yet, I've written sermons that have reached the diversity in the room in ways that can only be due to Lady Wisdom (from the Proverbs text) and the presence of the first born of Creation, Jesus (from the Colossians text). There is a moment each Sunday before I walk out of my study, where a part of my mind simply lets go to the what will be. I have learned to hold the preaching moment with an open hand.
My hand is open because the "word of God for the people of God" is meant for the people to eat it not framed for the people to see it. And the more my congregation grows in its diversity, the more I wonder how many are being nourished by the preaching moment? So once/month we're offering stations during the "sermon" time of the worship service. We're using the Season of the Spirit worship resource - which makes it easy actually.
We will have three stations: I will lead a conversation in the sanctuary for those who don't want too much of a difference. In another room there will be a puppet show with Lady Wisdom as the main character. And folks will get to make their own puppets. In the third room, folks will reflect on VanGogh's starry night and have the opportunity to draw or paint or - well, I keep changing my mind on this one.
Each group gets 25 minutes to do their thing and then we're coming back together to learn from one another.
So I've opened my hand a little wider yet, giving more control over to Lady Wisdom to speak to folks in her own way. I'm trusting that the Christ who was there at the beginning will be just as present as the humans in my congregation try to understand scripture together.
I have two fears. I fear some will see this as ruining the preaching moment and I fear this experience will not nourish us. But then I remember that Lady Wisdom was the "master worker." She is the fore-woman overseeing how things come together. And I rest in this vulnerable notion that "all things hold together" in Christ.
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