John Buchanan’s recent blog, “The Preacher’s Weekly Offering” , hit a nerve. While in the past I have written about not missing preaching, I have found there are truly aspects of the mystery of preaching I do truly miss. For two years I have been on disability focusing issues that have kept me away from regular pastoral, adminstrative and pulpit work within the church. This blog, with a focus on preaching, helped me address some of my own feelings — now missing the discipline of offering my gifts to God through preaching.
For those who are retired or finding themselves away from the weeklly discipline of preaching, I commend these words from John Buchanan — who says:
What I miss most, I have discovered, is not so much the preaching itself but the preparing, the rhythm, the demand and discipline. We develop a weekly routine, most of us do: Bible study, historical, theological, literary research, making connections between the text and life. Text leads to serious biblical inquiry which leads to what the theologians have said which leads to literature, poetry and the daily newspaper. I now know that it was my spiritual discipline, my devotions, in addition to the work of preparing. As I worked I thought, struggled, wrestled, prayed in desperation, sometimes with tears in my eyes at the profundity and beauty of what I was reading and pondering. And I now conclude that the sermon, weak, flawed and so very human, is the preacher’s weekly offering to God, the work of our hands which the Psalmist suggested, God just might prosper. (Psalm 90)
Are you retired? Do you miss preaching? What about the idea of preaching as a “weekly offering”? Lots to think about!