Thus far, I have preached twice since entering Nashotah House, once in St. Mary’s Chapel and once at the local parish I am serving at. I am an introvert. Yet, I have found thus far that I really enjoy preaching. I first preached on Advent I (1979 lectionary, year C) and had several weeks of preparation time. My second sermon (Advent III, 1928 BCP) had a much shorter prep time, as it was at the bringing of the week leading up to final exams.
They were two distinct sermons, I think, and have been told. Advent I was more of a meditative sermon; in a way, it was my meditation on what Advent is and how that related to Christmas and Christ the King. On Advent III, I asked the congregation this question, “Why are you here?” and pointed out the fact that there is so much else that they could be doing. I asked them what it meant to be a “steward of the mysteries of God” (based upon the Epistle reading), and told them that the world needed to know why we were in “a small church outside of a big city”.
I wonder what some of the greatest preachers in history have thought of it. John Chrysostom was “the golden tongued”. What makes a sermon different from reading out of the lectionary? I, personally, am not to the point where I would be confident preaching ad libitum, rather than from a manuscript.
As part of our seminary formation, we are trained as preachers. Students preach in the chapel on a regular basis, are expected to preach during internships and Field Education, and take at least two classes on homiletics. I look forward to this.
Christ the Lord is born: O Come, let us adore him.