The writer Dorothy Parker famously said ‘I hate writing. I like having written.’
On Saturday night I said to Jody, ‘Please remind me next time I’m considering a preaching engagement: I don’t actually like preaching.’
On Sunday morning I preached at North Porirua Baptist Church. I loved it.
I hate the anticipation of preaching – no preacher I know sleeps well on Saturday nights. I like actually preaching, and I really like having preached.
Anyway, I’m pleased to have done it! The people of NPBC were very warm and hospitable, and I spoke to quite a few afterwards who shared some of their happy and sad stories of illness, depression and parenthood.
It was a good opportunity to get my thoughts in order. As I said the other week, I wanted to structure it in three parts, the first two of which were based on material from the blog.
I started with telling my story of postnatal depression, a fuller version of which is in this How It Is series, particularly #1, #2, #4 and #5. I based it around several things that surprised me (and you!) about PND, so thanks very much for that feedback.
Then I gave an adapted list of tips of how to help and what to say, based on the third post in this series.
But the last section was new, and written specifically for talking to a church congregation about where I have noticed God in these last couple of years, through the lens of the themes of light and love in the first letter from John in the New Testament.
You can hear the whole sermon on the NPBC website.
It’s taken all week, but I’ve decided not to put the manuscript of the new section on the blog. Preaching is a unique form of communication and the orality of it, and the fact that it is an event involving a preacher and a specific congregation, mean that it can be pretty flat on the page or screen. I may try again, writing similar material just for you guys, but not till long after we have moved house (next week!).