I may have been preaching for 10 months but this is the first service I have preached at which is purely for adults; all previous services have been all age or child focussed. I had been dreading the day when I would have to jump into the "adult sermon" boat but in the end it was out of my hands (funny that hey) and I offered to help out so that an incredibly overloaded NSM could concentrate on the funerals she is taking this week.
I have to smile at the fact that my comfort zone is a pre-planned and organised life and yet three times now the Spirit has brought me to new experiences with very little notice. I am learning that my "comfort zone" in facts allows me to panic unduly ahead of time of events. When I allow myself to be guided I find that a couple of days notice is enough for me to psych myself, prepare and not get to the total panic place. learning!
The lectionary was Matthew 20:1-16 The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard. I went about preparing the sermon very differently than previously. Instead of a practical example coming to mind and my building a sermon around that, I found myself reading various translations, commentaries and undertaking more study than intuitive process. However the middle stage was the same, prayer, contemplation and time for it to come together. Then the final stage and it came together straight away as a mind map and there it was ready to give.
The service itself is lovely, it's the older generation, entirely women today, and they are friends worshipping together. They were excited to have someone different preaching and extremely welcoming. They were also bowled over by having Rachel (very almost 4) with us and thrilled that she sat quietly throughout the service except for at the end of my sermon when she turned to the congregation and said "that's my mummy!"
The sermon went well, it took me a few minutes whilst I felt extremely nervous and a bit stilted but then I felt it change and knew that I was being guided; it all flowed from there. I managed to get in everything I wanted to; mostly about the importance of us all realising we have roles to undertake for God but there is no hierachy, we're united in our faith and share in the grace. I had quite a few people congratulate me and ask me if I would be coming back to do another, I await clergy feedback.
All in all I am thankful for the guidance I am given daily, for the experiences that are offered and for the ability to provide my role the best I can.