I tried something new today. I preached my whole sermon in spoken word poetry. I had heard my daughter, Sarina do it and I thought, “I can do that.” I love the rhythm, rhyme, repetition, alliteration, and especially the rising and falling emotion of it. I was quite nervous about it beforehand. Once I get on stage all that disappears and I’m just “in the zone,” probably not unlike stage actors. Really, that is what a sermon is – a theatrical performance. It does not mean it is fake. In fact, just the opposite.
As I was talking about world issues I deeply felt my sorrow at not knowing what to do about all the violence and suffering in the world. When I mentioned more at-home issues about marriages, jobs, and futures I was keenly aware of my friends and family who are going through stuff right now. I think part of why so many people affirm my delivery is not so much that I put on a good show but that they connect with the subject matter and the emotions. Well, I hope so anyway.
Afterwards I was completely wasted and would have prefered running to my cave and hiding, not unlike Elijah after his Carmel experience. I felt the sorrow even more acutely when I got home. Maybe it’s part the let down of putting out so much energy as well and making myself vulnerable emotionally in front of a few hundred people. Sometimes I wish I had gifts that could be practiced more hiddenly.
If you want to read the “sermon” you can go to my sermons file on the website, but it’s like all my poetry, it needs to be read/heard aloud to be appreciated. Once I figure out how to post audio I’ll do that but I won’t have time to experiment with that till May. The title is “Rise from the Ruins” using primarily texts from Jeremiah 31 and 39 and some lyrics from Bruce Cockburn and Mark Heard woven in.