I steep in the Word during the week. Waiting and wondering if the Spirit will stir. Praying for a hint, a whisper, a moment of a message. Many weeks I don’t fully like what I hear. Most weeks the message is just as much for the me as it is for the we. That said preaching is a spiritual practice not to be entered into lightly. It is playing with fire, and I am the child in the backyard lighting the match wondering what will happen.
There is a reason why Moses comes down from Mount Sinai physically changed. You can’t have an encounter with the Holy without a physical change. Listening to, looking for, and playing with fire are surely to lead to moments of being singed. Some Sunday mornings my fingers peel from playing with the matches of text and time.
If this is true for preachers, what happens to the Word made flesh in the midst of a Sunday morning? And what would happen if we really expected an encounter with the Holy on Sunday. Surely Monday could not be the same. Surely the way we’ve been could not stay the same. It seems almost a conflict of interest to be paid to preach. Payment for what is hoped to be a “nice message” and an encounter with the Holy that leaves your fingers smoldering are incongruent experiences at best.