My spouse used to ask me on the Saturdays that came before preaching Sundays, “Is your sermon done?” I developed a standard answer: “It’s never done. It only exists at varying stages of preparation.”
She doesn’t ask me that anymore.
It’s a serious answer, and not just for sermons. One of the features of church work is that Sunday presents an immovable deadline for much of what we have to do. Sunday is coming, and that doesn’t always sound like good news to those of us who fret about our preparation. There is the sermon to prepare. Or there is the class, the youth group, the meeting–Sunday is coming and with it things we are expected to lead, ready or not.
So what is ready? If time zipped ahead to Sunday morning right now and you had to go with only the preparation you’ve already done, could you?
Your preparation extends further back than this week. And you’re not the only one preparing; God is too. God is preparing you, and God is preparing the community in ways nobody sees.
Let’s do our work to prepare, then. But not as if the whole thing depends on us.