"Give us the inner listening/that is a way in itself/and the oldest thirst there is."
I confess. I had forgotten the process.
The reading of the word. The living into the story. The embracing of the essence. The grasping for the truth.
The process of the journey of birthing a sermon.
It has only been three years since I preached on a weekly basis at a sweet little interim pastorate in Huntington, only six months or so since I stood in a pulpit last as I provided some pulpit supply for the U.C.C., but already I had forgotten the rituals, the routines of sermon crafting.
It is windy this afternoon, appropriate for a sermon about Jesus in the midst of a storm. Grayson is out with his grandparents. Robert drinks tea quietly at the kitchen table. Apart from the Bach motets playing softly, it is quiet here.
How had I forgotten how delightful it is to be pulled into scripture? To fall into uncovering exegetical mysteries I had never known? To pause, sip my tea and watch out the window as questions swirl around in my head?
For the past week each three-mile run I take is without my customary I-pod. As my feet pound rhythmically I contemplate the text. I allow it to live in me, to consume me. I come home and need to stop thinking, so that my subconscious mind, the voice of the Spirit can draw forth new truths. Last Wednesday I lay awake at 3:20 in the morning, light of the full moon shining in the room and puzzled questions of theodicy again.
How had I forgotten that preaching feels so much like coming home? How had I forgotten the sudden epiphany that comes when a thought clicks? When a metaphor names what I know? When the ineffable can be phrased?
My soul is slowly reawakening to that inner listening. And I am not as thirsty as I once was.