Monday, 6 April 2009

Preaching can be wearisome

In November 2005 I was preaching one Sunday morning at St. James’s in Cambridge when a strange (to me) through passed my mind.

It was: “I don’t want to do this anymore”. The “this” was preaching.

‘Twas a strange thought cos I’ve always loved to preach, and at that time I’d been doing so for 45 years (yes I began preaching when I was 16 years old!).

That realisation was one of the factors which led to my early retirement in 2006. I was weary of preaching. It was a warning which I heeded when I realised that I was weary of something I’d loved to do.

Folks tell me that I preach well; that I have a “light touch”; and that my sermons are accessible. That’s well and good, and I am grateful for these comments and observations.

In March 2009, well into retirement, I preached 13 times. (There were but four sermons on four weekends, but in every parish there were “repeats” due to multiple weekend services).

It was again wearying.

This week on Maundy (Holy) Thursday I’ll preach again. It will be for the evening Eucharist, at St. Boniface, my home parish, on Siesta Key. And I’ll be giving a wedding homily later in the month.

But then I will need a break. It is possible to have too much of even a good thing.

Remember this the next time you are bored with your Pastor’s sermon. She/he cannot always score home runs, and it’s at least likely that she/he would rather be reading the Sunday paper at home!

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