I had a nightmare last night. I was sitting in the front of the church on Easter Sunday, realizing that I had nothing prepared for the sermon. I began to frantically put together my ideas for my talk, but as I scrolled through my phone, trying to look up Bible verses that I could teach on, I wasn’t getting any cell reception. My browser kept loading half way and getting stuck. And it wasn’t one of those nice, short dreams. It went on and on. I actually got up to preach and found myself winging it. It wasn’t a terrible sermon, but the feeling was. I hate feeling unprepared.
There’s quite a bit of stress that goes into holy week for pastors, at least for this one. Each of these moments are celebrations of the core principles and beliefs on which the gospel stands. And the challenge is always how to make it new. Not add to it, per se, but to make it alive again in its original potency. To see what has become familiar through new eyes and with all the brightness of what we remember.
But it isn’t just Easter Sunday morning alone. Good Friday, Maunday Thursday, Palm Sunday…it’s a busy week. And, from an emotional creativity standpoint, it can feel overwhelming. Like I’m going to run out of things to say, or worse, that the words will lack the power that the messages deserve. That they will fall flat.
I told Patty about the dream this morning and she just smiled and said she thought it would be awesome to hear me wing it. She’d love to hear what I had to say just off the top of my head. And that meant a lot to me. Because it truly is a message that runs deep in my bones. The resurrection is a moment in time that continues to root me, empowers me, and gives me hope.
And honestly, it addresses this particular fear of the potential lack of energy and inspiration, because it promises that these mercies are renewed every morning. And this isn’t just an idea or concept anymore. I’ve been living this, for the second year in a row, during the season of Lent. Writing every day, without any pre-constructed list of ideas. Each blog is literally what comes that day. I’m not saving up ideas, but am using up the ones I have, and trusting and having faith that there will be another one tomorrow. It is a bit scary, but the exercise is good for my heart.
And 38 days later, I’m almost there. Almost to the end. And I want to tell my restless soul not to worry about tomorrow. That each day has just enough grace to get me through. And that there is always more where that came from. Because I’m not wandering aimlessly. I’m being led. And, through writing each day, this has become the greatest gift. And it gives me such hope.