Preaching after Disaster
(I know that I haven’t posted in a while, and I hope to be able to write a post about my extended blog silence soon, but right now my focus is on other things)
I’ve having bit of a hard time right now.
I’m struggling. I’m unsure of myself. I don’t know what to say.
The images coming from Haiti are horrific. The stories are gut-wrenching and heart-breaking.
And I have to preach on Sunday.
I am supply preaching this week. I turned in my bulletin on Tuesday afternoon, and due to my work schedule at my part-time job, I didn’t see a computer or tv from 3:30 on Tuesday afternoon, until late Wednesday morning. When I woke yesterday, I learned of the massive quake in Haiti (through Twitter, of all things). My bulletin already turned in (and copied, thanks to a very efficient church secretary), I am locked into preaching the Gospel lesson from the lectionary – John 2.1-11, the Wedding at Cana. (of course, if it wasn’t a supply gig, and I was the settled pastor, I would feel comfortable throwing out the service and starting from scratch, but that is not the case here)
My dilemma is this – how to link the passage about Jesus’ first sign (miracle) and to a message of compassion/hope/call to action. And, it is also the Sunday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Still, this is a first for me – preaching right after a disaster – and it is so far away. How much should I focus on it when there are many many needy people in the church community I am preaching in? Many people don’t have a lot of resources to give – HOWEVER, this congregation is known for their huge hearts for mission work.
Those of you who are preaching the lectionary this week – What are you doing to link the Gospel with the disaster?
Picture credit – New York Times