I really didn't intend to go a whole week without posting. It just happened. I blame it on the busy week at work and church last week, and a weekend at my mom's. With all of that I'm guessing I had 23 minutes at home when I wasn't sleeping or getting ready to go somewhere. This week, fortunately, is much quieter. I'm glad for the relief.
Last semester the worship coordinator at the seminary caught me in my office and asked me to think about preaching in chapel some time during the year. In August I signed up to preach near the end of February. As luck would have it, I have to be out of town that day. Secretly, I was relieved. It's been years since I've preached, many more years since I did it regularly and well.
Late last week the worship coordinator showed up with her chapel schedule. As luck would have it, there were openings from which I could choose another time to preach. So, I looked at my travel schedule and narrowed it down to two possibilities. When I couldn't decide and she didn't have a preference, I cheated. I looked at the lectionary texts for those two days and took my pick.
One of the weeks, the gospel text is from John 14, where Jesus says, "I am the way," and he talks about how he is the father, etc. It's a beautiful passage. I've heard it all my life, but frankly, I couldn't imagine preaching the text and remaining true to my Unitarian identity without a lot of theological work, something I wasn't willing to do with theology and bible scholars looking over my shoulder, so I settled for the other.
The gospel text for the other week is John 4, the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. My friends, if I may say so, I hit the lectionary jackpot. If there is a passage more deeply rooted in my soul, I couldn't tell you what it would be.
I've already started working on the sermon. Reading over the passage has been like letting a fine wine roll around on my tongue, allowing me to taste every bit of its flavor. I'm really looking forward to the process.
But, I must admit, I'm pretty darn nervous about it too.