Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sermons? What sermons?

The month of Elul is, for most rabbis, a month of writing. There are so many other aspects to the holidays BESIDES sermons, but we all seem to focus on our sermons - the words that we will say to our congregations that will hopefully move, inspire, enlighten, entertain, amuse, interest, and not annoy them.

No small task, right?

Yesterday's Jewel of Elul was by Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater. I don't know him, but he did a great job of capturing the way that I feel about sermon-writing:

Writing sermons brings a myriad of emotions for me: fear, excitement, nervousness, and anticipation.  Will I inspire, challenge, comfort, educate, or transform those listening?  Will I reach one person with my message? 

The blank screen that unfolds before each sermon is my darkness - formless and void.  And then I begin to create.  As I sit down to write, I am aware of this creation teaching, for it calls me to find the message needed for the moment. 

Oh yes, Josh. (Can I call you Josh? I feel a kinship, let me tell you.) This is it - the blank screen, the emotions, the desire to "get it right" - and person is enough for me too.

It's a long shot, but I think I'll get there.


JanetheWriter said...

If your sermons are anything like your blogs, you will TOTALLY get there. Good luck!

Rabbi Sharff said...

Great post. At least I am blogging as a form of procrastination.