I didn't preach well today. Most of the time, I feel satisfied that I have done justice to my calling as preacher. After marriage, preaching is my greatest joy in life. I am blessed to engage deeply with Scripture each week, and wrestle enough with it to distinguish law & gospel and discern how to preach the Word of God in the congregation.
But what do you do when you feel you've failed at preaching the Word of God clearly? Of course, I still trust that the Spirit can and does make use of faulty speech and disorganized thoughts. You can't and shouldn't make this a presupposition of preaching. We are still called to do our best and most faithful preaching each week even though it is the Spirit that enlivens faith in those who hear, and not the prowess of our preaching.
But I never know what to do after a sermon is over and I believe I've preached poorly. My gut reaction- I want to make a simple announcement, prior to the dismissal, where I simply acknowledge that the sermon wasn't my best work, but come back next week and it will be better. Funny.
Even more humorous, maybe, is that the sermon was on the ways we fail to have faith, but the Word of God makes something new out of us- in the case of Elijah, takes a scared weak man huddling in a cave and makes him into a powerful prophet, in the case of Peter takes a stumbling and sinking foolhard and makes him the rock on which the church is built. May the Lord do thus and so with even my poor words.