So here is the quote I am responding to this morning:
"Soul work is not a high road. It's a deep fall into an unforgiving darkness that won't let you go until you find the song that sing you home." - McCall Ericsson.com
It was posted by my friend Regan O'Callaghan on his artists Facebook page. I read it, and instinctively loved it - because I love all of that darkness diving stuff, and I am searching for my song, and sometimes I think I find it. I think that trying to speak to a community about faith in the form of a sermon is like singing for me. Which leads me to the second quote I saw and am responding to this morning:
"People have an idea that the preacher is an actor on a stage and they are critics, blaming or praising him/her. What they don't know is that they are the actors on the stage; he [the preacher] is merely the prompter standing in the wings, reminding them of their lost lines." - Søren Kierkegaard
I preached at a wedding on Saturday and a baptism on Sunday - people were kind, they praised me, saying that I moved them and that was great, a boost to my ego, which is all to often fragile. Then reading this quote in the afternoon on Sunday was a really grounding experience for me. The sermon is not for my ego and is not a performance, but in most cases it is simply this: a reminder of what you already know in your heart.
I rarely say anything new, because as Ecclesiastes reminds us, there is nothing new under the sun. To go back to the metaphor of 'the song that sings you home' - I want to believe that at best I am able to tap into some well used themes in a fresh way that resonates for a moment.
Now this blog post is turning into a - wow, how deep and profound I am, so I need to get to my conclusion.
I loved reading Regan's quote this morning - but as I read it I reflected on what my morning actually looked like. This morning 'Soul Work' didn't feel like a deep dive into the profound, it felt like a desperate scramble to climb out of the pit of my bed, get showered and pretend that I can do this priest thing.
I loved the wedding and Baptism and young adult dinner club yesterday evening - but much driving and thinking and speaking left me tired and depleted. Soul work is hard sometimes.
This work is unfinished for me.
The birdsong drifting in from the garden is helping!
From the UK, Matthew loved US culture from the first time he picked up a Fantastic Four Comic when he was 12.