Tomorrow morning I'm in the pulpit, and for the first time I'm recycling a sermon.
I don't mean that I'm repeating the same sermon--I've done that before, mostly when I was doing sermon supply.
No, I'm taking a sermon I wrote four years ago, for a very different congregation, and I'm updating it in some very specific ways.
When I agreed to an August sermon date, I assumed it would be a pretty quick rewrite. You know, just make the references more current, and adjust things to match the liturgical style.
But then I considered the personality differences. The congregants' and my own--I'm not the same person I was four years ago. (Thank goodness.)
Not that I sew, but it feels sort of like taking apart an outfit I haven't worn in years, and adjusting it to fit my grown body and new styles.*
After staring at a screen for far too long, I admitted I was stuck, printed the previous version plus my pages of new ideas, and played jigsaw to put it together again.
Cutting out the parts that no longer fit? That hurt. Quite honestly, I excised A LOT. Yes, excising. That's what it felt like. The final product is probably a little short, but it's the summer--no one will mind getting out of the worship service before noon.
It's too soon to say if the recycling is a success, heck, there might still be a 5 AM gutting and rewrite, or an on-chancel ad lib.
But right now I've saved the document and am heading out for the evening. All will be well.
*I'm really hoping this isn't a Pretty in Pink moment, because that dress was HIDEOUS. Chances are I'll post the sermon in the early part of the week.