Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Time is at Hand...Again!

Well I had an interesting experience this morning.

You see, there's this mythology that gets passed around between preachers, stories that either make good sermon illustrations, or are particular to the experience of those who regularly lead worship. As a Pastoral Intern at a church in Tucker, GA, I'm one of those worship-leader types of people.

One of the stories that gets passed around is the tale of of the visiting preacher, who is recognized by the standard preacher and asked to "Bring a Word to us this morning."Invariably, the story stars a preacher who is unprepared and is horrified to have to come up with something brilliant on the spot.

I don't know how often this actually comes up though. I've not seen it happen, mostly because my tradition, called Presbyterian, is not only people of the Word, but also people of the calendar. We've got ourselves scheduled out as far as we can see, texts selected years in advance, sermon titles months in advance, and hymns picked weeks out. So when one walks into a Presbyterian church, one is pretty sure of who is preaching that morning.

Most of the time.

My regular readers will know that this blog has been primarily a repository for my sermons, and a forum for their composition. This post is tangential to that usage. This morning, I preached this sermon for a second (and a third time).

It is fitting that we would call an audible like this during football season, and what enabled me to do it was the fact that having heard the myth of the surprised preacher, I have started storing my sermons on my Kindle. When it became apparent that I might be called on to preach, it was already too late to write a fresh sermon, and there was a time when it may have been appropriate to pull an old sermon out of a file cabinet, or print it off a computer. Having a handful of sermons on my kindle is the technological equivalent of having old sermons stuffed in one's bible, but takes up less space.

So today I took another step into the virtual church, I preached from an e-reader for the first time. What was wonderful is that, true to the nature of the body of Christ, I did not step out over that chasm alone, the Old Testament reader at the early service used an iPad for his reading, and during the second service, a visitor live-tweeted my sermon.

The Holy Spirit is truly active in every time and place.


  1. And I'm commenting on your e-reader sermon via text from my smart phone. I love living in the future!

  2. I ACTUALLY witnessed an on the spot preaching invitation... in a Presbyterian Church. Of course, the church was Montreat Presbyterian, and the preacher spotted in the crowd who was asked to preach was Billy Graham. He did a pretty good job. lol