Thursday, March 01, 2007

Preaching Incidents

I have had a couple of great preaching incidents lately. Great, meaning "I can laugh at it later."
Sunday I began preaching, and when I reached page 3 (in the middle of a scripture quote), I realized I did not have page 4. In fact, I didn't have pages 4,5, or 6. So I had to stop and look up the scripture in the Bible and continue reading it there - then fudge the next 2 1/2 pages. Oops!
Turns out when Jonathan had "helped" me get my sermon off the printer, he left a few pages behind.
Now then, on Wednesdays during Lent, we do a joint service with the "other" church in town. Last night we were at their church, meaning it was my turn to preach. I got there in plenty of time and got my cool little on-the-ear microphone on - but I realized halfway through the service that I hadn't turned it on (I hadn't begun preaching yet). Since I was indeed wearing a robe, I wondered how I would manage to get to the microphone to turn it on. You see, I had hooked it to the back of my belt, and I was sitting on the stage in front of the congregation.
So I reached around behind myself and unhooked the microphone and reaching into my robe, I found it and turned it on. Now on to read scripture (since I had managed to not grab a bulletin, I was looking at one of the choir members' copies, and the first thing I was to do was read).
When I stepped into the pulpit to read the scripture... no Bible. I asked the other pastor (PD) for one - he had to go searching for one. He asked, "Does anyone have a Bible?" Whoops!
So I read the scripture and preached my sermon, and it all seemed to go pretty well (this year I didn't have even a single incident with the Confirmation class - they were extremely well-behaved!).
But when I was stepping out of the pulpit, I'm used to a different set-up, and I didn't see the step down behind me. If it hadn't been for PD catching me, I would have fallen. Maybe right off the stage.
Good times.


Mary Beth said...

Your first story about not having all the pages of your sermon was my worst nightmare. I'm glad you survived with such grace!

Dreaming again said...

Our pastor,well, former pastor, liked to roam while preaching.

Our platform, also a stage, was 8 steps off the ground.

One Sunday, he was at the edge of the stage and was going to start coming down the stage he was saying "people pay attention" with as much intensity as he could muster.

As he stepped to the first step ...he missed the stair ...and ... went to the floor ... drop ...plop ..

got our attention ...

How in the world his wife stayed seated ... I have NO idea! I'd have been right there making sure he was ok. (which, knowing him, wouldn't have pleased him)

He, having been an athlete and gymnast as a teen, just popped up ...embarassed ...and went on ... no, he never lived it down.

ts said...

Maybe next time, you can try preaching from just an outline instead of the full text of your sermon. That will help prepare you for "emergency" situations.

Big Mama said...

You always were good at extemporaneous speech! I'm sure you did fine...

These are things you should save somewhere for the book you should write about preaching when you retire.