Sermon Remix

[I’m sitting in my van in front of the UPS Store. It is currently 7:54 AM. The UPS web site said that this store opens at 8:00. The sign on the door says 8:30. I may have a few extra minutes on my hand. A good time to return to the blog. Sorry for my absence (or you’re welcome… depending on your perspective).]

I just scanned snippets of a few reviews of the soon to be released, much hyped, new U2 album. It got me wondering about the life cycle of the eleven songs on an album like this. I’m sure they evolved something like this. They were written, rehearsed, revised, rehearsed again, revised again, and after several cycles, eventually recorded. Of course, in the recording of them, there could be dozens of takes, and dozens of variations tried on each take, all recorded and stored so that the engineers and producers could then mix them, edit them, re-record portions, massage them, listen to them, and try again.

After two years of work, the eleven songs are blended together as one fifty-four minute unit, packaged, and sold, to thunderous accolades and immense financial profit, and to the deep satisfaction of all the artists involved.

I mentally began comparing that to what one might imagine to be the life cycle of a sermon. It evolves something like this. Beginning on a Tuesday, generally, it is researched, written, revised, sometimes rehearsed, revised again, and then, Sunday, six days after its genesis, preached as a thirty-odd minute finished product. On Monday it is revisited and often regretted as, suddenly, new insights and necessary revisions are too late realized.

One reviewer of the U2 album identifies two ‘duds’ out of the eleven songs, which, he says, is “not a bad strike rate by anybody’s standards.”

I hope pastors are allowed an occasional dud or two as well, given the vastly different environment in which their art is practiced.