I have three sermons, three children’s sermons, and one presentation to write in the next week and a half. I have no choice. This needs to be done. But each time I sidle up to my computer – nothing.
Last night I did a little reading on writer’s block. This guy suggested I’m afraid of something, probably my topic. Hmmm. The high holy days usually put the fear of God into me. Kind of like the Super Bowl of church. Expectations are high and I feel extra pressure to deliver.
But that’s not it. I’m not THAT afraid. Pressure doesn’t paralyze me. At least not usually.
Maybe it’s because these bible passages are simply too familiar. What can I say that hasn’t already been said? How do I know I’m not just wasting peoples’ valuable time? How can I breathe new life into these dry bones?
Could it be that I’ve lost the wonder and delight of Jesus’ birth story? Could it be that the in-breaking of the kingdom of God – the Word made flesh - has become so ho-hum that the thought of preaching AGAIN fills me with more boredom than dread? Could it be that the story of life, joy, and salvation in the baby Jesus has become, for me, so commonplace that it fails to move me?
Maybe I need to get out of the office. The stacks of books lining my four walls are standing over me in judgment, an unyielding reminder that I can’t put two decent words together. Well, at least not any two words that I get paid to say.
Perhaps I need to go out and find where this story is hiding. Maybe that single mom down the street, the one who works two part time jobs just to pay the rent but can’t afford toys for her kids, she might know where he is. Her guess is as good as anyone’s. From there I should head to the library. Folks there chat all day about stuff they’ve seen. And they’ve seen a lot. Then maybe I’ll make my way to the hospital. Maybe Jesus is wandering the halls with a bag of candy for the kids and handfuls of healing and comfort for everyone.
Then maybe I should head home and listen to my daughter and hear what she has to say about the wonderfully bizarre story that - somehow - tells us who God is.
I need to go learn once again where Jesus is being born. Then maybe, just maybe, I’ll can be the herald of good tidings, the bearer of good news, the messenger of salvation.
Because I can’t tell anyone anything that I haven’t already seen.