02 February 2009

Fatigue, Like Wine, Loosens the Tongue

Sleep is dragging my eyelids down after a long day at work. But when you write little squibs about momentary moods as I did yesterday, they get stale fast.

For the record, Sunday went well. It is always uncertain, and the surest rule is that when I go into the pulpit with something I know is good it is rarely that good. But when I approach the task with ‘fear and trembling’ there is room for the spirit. Pride goeth, as they say.

Also for the record, a member sent a critical letter last week in response to my Christmas Eve sermon (The second written protest actually; you can read what I said iat that service n my post from last month if you like.) “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away," as someone else said.

The longer I do this the more it seems to me to be a mandate, an order, something I must do. Over the years my sermons have gotten more stark, less pretty. No wonder some people complain, I guess. But being true to the deepest heart of one’s calling may mean not being as ‘successful.’ Those whom I admire – Socrates, Jesus and Paul notably – were not successful in the usual sense. All three died criminal deaths after all.

I am not courting their fate, you can be sure, but to know your words can and will bring offense or sorrow, even when you know them to speak with integrity and truth, is still hard. God knows that I wouldn’t do it unless I had not choice.

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