I'm now in the throes of Passiontide (a/k/a Holy Week) at Grace Episcopal Church. I'm furiously finalizing bulletins, prayer lists and sermons ... Oh my! I don't know what it is about Christmas and Easter but I find them to be a homiletic nightmare. It goes beyond the whole writer's block of the blank page staring at me on my laptop. It's the struggle with what to say.
For the 2.75 people who read my blog ... rounding up to the nearest 3 ... you may find it odd that words fail me on "state occasions." I guess I find difficult is that Christmas and Easter are days when lots of people show up for lots of different reasons and I'm not sure how to connect with all the differing expectations in the room.
It's one thing to preach on a Sunday to Sunday basis with our members who faithfully attend worship. I have a relationship with them. They know something about me and I know something about them. But on Christmas and Easter, there are a significant number of visitors whom I do not know. Some of these visitors are seeking a Christian community and checking us out to see what kind of message gets preached and lived in our context. Some come because it's "what you do on Easter." It would be nice to see these folks regularly but that's something they need to decide - I'm not there to judge them and I do want them to feel welcome. Some are there because they are visiting relatives. It's all kind of a spiritual stew and it intimidates me.
I do take this to Christ in prayer and faithfully follow with study and exegesis. But even so, the blank page stares at me. I take some consolation in reading other preacher's Easter sermons, especially sensing they too struggle with this. A few of these sermons are good ... many, not so much. I take consolation I'm not alone.
Come Holy Spirit!