Old Man Winter has gotten into some bad habits. He’s been taking time off during the week and making weekend calls on a regular basis, disappointing kids who would like a day off from school, and upsetting clergy who have labored long to prepare the perfect sermon.
Folks in the prediction business said Mr. Winter might make a brief, friendly visit sometime on Sunday, so we were taken by surprise when he arrived in the wee hours of Sunday morning and refused to leave. I shoveled the driveway at 6 o’clock on Sunday morning, in the dark. A light, wet snow was falling–my t.v. informant assured me it wouldn’t amount to much. Wrong!
At 7:30, when I arrived at church, I shoveled a path to my office, and Mr. Winter was just getting his second wind. As he whipped us with more of that white stuff, I thought the perfect sermon I’d prepared should be saved for later, when the seats would be filled and snow wouldn’t distract.
Ed and I conferred, as usual, and he suggested I consider saving the sermon I’d planned. I said we were on the same wavelength-and why not, we’ve worked together for twenty years. We were certain that only a few of the hardiest souls would venture out.
Turning to my personal computer I eagerly made an outline for a sermon suited to the occasion; one that would work with a background of beautiful snow floating down, filling the air and resting on the trees. I tucked ‘In Praise of Christianity’ safely into a manila file folder.
The plan-B sermons were well received. I use the plural because the nine and eleven o’clock efforts were as different as two snow flakes, but we won’t go there. Flakey has other, less flattering connotations. All of my sermons are posted on our web site a day or two after they are delivered. I’m pleased to learn from folks that the web site is being used, and sermons are read. From time to time someone tells me that they printed out a copy of a particular sermon to send to a distant family member or friend. “I know he’ll appreciate this,” or “This is something we’ve been talking about-it hits home.” That’s very gratifying.
After the nine o’clock service I smiled when one of our newer members said, “You know, you should consider recording some of those poems.” I told her I did that three years ago, and she immediately availed herself a copy of the book, Natural Selections, and two CD’s that come with it. She reminded me that there were others who aren’t aware of the recorded book, so I mentioned it at eleven and four others got a copy. Nice.
The new date for the sermon ‘In Praise of Christianity‘ is March 7. By the way, with a combined attendance of 200 on Sunday’s services, we sent a message to Old Man Winter. So there!