Today I did something I’ve never done before.
Actually, every day in the past week it’s been like that. But today I preached with CBC cameras rolling. With the Calgary Herald guy scribbling notes in shorthand. With a bunch of people from the community in the pews. With the world, or what felt like the world, watching.
Usually it’s kinda cozy in our sanctuary. Same old folks. We know each other, and for the most part, like each other.
Today was good for us. It reminded us that the world really is watching, that what we do with ourselves during the week really does matter. I had to remind myself that in some ways, today’s sermon was no different than last week’s. I’m supposed to preach faithfully, serving God first. I should do that whether I’m preaching to empty pews or full ones or even to a camera, right?
On the other hand, this was totally different than last week. Last week I had the luxury of using inside jokes, addressing people who have become comfortable with me. This week I preached on the edge of a knife blade, wanting to hit the mark while avoiding deathtraps on either side — selling out and watering things down on one side, and going overboard with damaging rhetoric on the other. Last week my crowd was forgiving. This week my words will get parsed and cut and pasted by the media and broadcasted as if it came straight from my mouth whether I meant what they made me say or not. I pray for God’s inspiration and guidance upon the words they choose to use and how to use them. If you’ve ever dreamed of having this kind of opportunity, don’t. Trust me when I say it’s overrated.
Don’t get me wrong. The media has been fine so far — courteous, as respectful as they can be given their various tasks. I’m just glad to “get back to normal” now, whatever normal we be from now on.
If you’d like to listen to the full message, you can find it on iTunes under Podcasts, Dalhousie Community Church. It’s called “Unthinkable.” God bless.