Recipriversexclusions and the Preach

If you’ve read the Hitchikers Galaxy by Douglas Adams you’ll be familiar with Bistromathics (you’ll have to read it). Importantly within this field is the brilliant concept of the recipriversexclusion, this is “a number whose existence can only be defined as being anything other than itself”
There exists a similar but broader concept within Ministry too, whatever the details you have been told about the Speaking gig, it will ALWAYS differ in one important (but variable) area. The defining and detailing of the gig will automatically negate one section of the brief you have been given.
For example, from my own experience:
The last minute (forgot to inform you) venue change
The Youth Service with an average age of sixty plus
The wrong date
The “just say a few words” which turns out to mean they are expecting a twenty minute full-on sermon
The Massively prepared Sermon which was actually, we just want you to introduce yourself.
The, ooops run out of time, we’ll need to to come back on another occasion.
A talk to our youth group ….. in fact the Sunday School and Toddlers
Now, I’m not moaning, it’s all part of the fun once you know the unexpected will happen, It’s good for both my prayer life and my humility.
Thought you’d enjoy this example of the phenomena from this morning though:
I glanced over my notes just before the readings, yep All prepared to speak on the topic I’ve been given from the readings I was e-mailed. Slightly nervous, but then I always am just before preaching. I listen to the readings to hear them one more time and earth them in my mind BUT it’s not the readings I was told!!!!!! Quicly flick to the e-mail that’s still on my PDA confirming that I have prepared on the passages that I was sent AND that the ones being read are not, in fact, them! I have less than a minute to pray, panic, think (not neccesarily in that order) before I have to speak.
First sermon I’ve started with the words, “Do you like surprises?”
I think I managed to pull a thread together from the new readings but it was a tough call.
Really great Church to be at though and my son didn’t disrupt the sermon (maybe that would have been a good thing to buy me some thinking time). He did however get very excited about seeing the bell ringers who were ringing before the service and managed to trip into them! If you were wandering through Great Missenden this morning and wondered why the bells came to a discordant halt at 9:16 …. that’s why, Sorry!

One Reply to “Recipriversexclusions and the Preach”

  1. Ive had the old ‘stood up open my bible with notes and realised Id done this talk here before’ best natural laxative there is.

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