Saturday, June 03, 2006

"I Climb the Rainbow Through the Rain" George Matheson, VI.

George Matheson's first pastoral charge was the small village of Innellan on the Clyde coast. Innellan was an unusual village in some ways; as a holiday resort its population was vastly swelled in the summer months. That meant that the profile of Matheson's congregation for eight months of the year was radically different from what it was for the other four months. For eight months there was only one service on the Lord's Day, and a relatively sparse congregation; for the other four the church was packed, and there were two Lord's Day services. For four months he had a large number of wealthy, educated members of the urban elite in his congregation, for the rest of the time the congregation were mostly simple rural folk.
The fact that life in Innellan was so settled in its rhyths meant that it was quite simple for Geirge Matheson to develop a routine in sermon preparation during those eight months of comparative quiet. On Lord's Day afternoons, after the service was over, he would select the text of his next sermon. During the week the blind minister would ponder over it. Towards the beginning of the week he would start to dictate the sermon to his secretary, and he was finished by Saturday morning. In the four summer months the evening sermon would be a repeat of one of the sermons preached during the winter - since virtually all of the summer evening congregation were visitors, they would not have heard the sermon the first time. At that time Matheson actually memorised the whole of the sermon, which would be read aloud to him so that he could memorise it.
At first Matheson had a couple of Scripture readings in his services, but he substituted a brief exposition of a part of Scripture for one of them. They were interesting services and, God willing, our next post will be a description of one of these services at Innellan.



Post a Comment

<< Home