I mentioned at one point that I was giving a sermon over High Holidays. To be more specific, it’s for Yom Kippur, which is coming up this week. I should mention that this congregation is lay-led and does not have a Rabbi, making the fact that I am giving one slightly less odd. Still, one might wonder why the congregation asked me to give the Yom Kippur sermon, as I am not scholarly or learning-driven when it comes to Judaism.
Answer: They didn’t.
My congregation has known me long enough to know that Husband is the smart one in our marriage. The High Holiday planning committee asked Husband to give the sermon for Yom Kippur.
This did not please me. Giving the sermon is an honor. I did not feel a sense of pride that my husband was offered an honor, but rather, an intense feeling of jealousy that I was not offered one. I thought I deserved an honor more because I do more thankless congregational board work (again, Husband is the smart one in this marriage). I actually enjoy public speaking and being at the center of attention. And I even had an excellent opening for a Yom Kippur sermon. I didn’t have a middle or ending yet, but the opening was fantastic! Husband didn’t even have an idea (though he likely would have come up with one eventually)! Also, Husband did not care one way or the other about giving a sermon.
So I stole the sermon honor. Told the High Holidays planning committee I was giving the sermon instead.
How did that work out? Well, I have:
- An amazing sermon opening
- A not completely terrible ending
- A couple of good lines that don’t connect to each other at all
- A terrible middle filled with condescending toxic positivity, which is exactly what I wanted to avoid
- No idea how to fix this
- Less than 2 days before Yom Kippur
- A great deal of regret
Now, I am no stranger to public humiliation. But I prefer my public humiliation when everyone, myself included, is drunk. Drinking is not allowed on Yom Kippur. Drinking is like, the exact opposite of what one is supposed to do on Yom Kippur.
My sermon rocked!! I totally killed it!! The congregation loved it. Also, my delivery was fantastic!
Husband [who was totally fine with me taking the sermon honor in the first place because he didn’t care about it, didn’t have a good idea for the sermon, and knew that I really wanted it (I admit I used the language of “stealing” purely for a Clickbait title and Carmen Sandiego reference)] agreed it was absolutely the right call for me to give this sermon.
This was the only aspect of Yom Kippur that went well. Pretty much everything else about Yom Kippur, including the preparation before my sermon, was a complete clusterfuck.
Side note: Doesn’t “The Yom Kippur Clusterfuck” sound like a great title for something? I’m not entirely sure what. I mean, you can’t exactly make it the title of a children’s book, and it doesn’t have quite the right ring for a musical. Hmm, I may actually have to write a piece of fiction to go with this killer title….