I had to preach at short notice this morning. We only discovered shortly before the 11am service that our expected speaker wasn’t able to make it so I volunteered to step in. Normally I like to get an early start on my talks. I’m already a fair way through the one for next Tuesday and that began brewing before the ink was dry on the previous one I delivered at the start of May. Still, I thought, at least I won’t be tempted to stare at my notes!
I did get a chance to pray, read through the passage (Psalm 97) and scribble down a few thoughts about where to start and then it was time to fly. I’ve just watched it back while putting together the online service video for Sunday and I think I did okay. Points for not going on too long and combining comments on the passage with anchors in other parts of the Bible. Probably a few points lost for a bit of jumping back and forth but that is the whole reason for preparing in advance and editing ruthlessly in normal circumstances. You can watch the result in the service that will premiere at 10:30am this Sunday.
Above all, I’m grateful that I’ve had plenty of practise in the past few months. I handle the Bible daily, get to work from it with others regularly and have had the privilege of preaching fairly frequently. What I won’t risk doing though is getting complacent. Next week’s talk still needs to be finished off. Perhaps I can afford to be a bit more spontaneous in delivery but may it not be that I come ill-prepared.