Doing some thinking about preaching…
It has been awhile since we have preached/studied through a book of the Bible, so I am excited to announce that we will begin the book of Mark with the Sunday morning sermon of September 10. Study guides have been ordered and soon to arrive, and be made available to those in the congregation wanting to dig deeper in the scriptures, for the ridiculously good price of $2. We found a bargain! In my personal study I have outlined the entire book, highlighted themes, and given titles to the sermon studies. This will be a fairly long study in God’s Word. Occasionally we will look into Mark’s Gospel on a Sunday or Wednesday evenings, just to break the monotony! And of course as the Spirit of God leads and the church calendar dictates, we will sometimes move in other directions. Mark is the shortest of the four gospels. It is likely the first to be written, and used as a resource for Matthew and Luke. It is called “The Book Of Action” for a reason- fast moving, does not get bogged down in detail. This amazing book unfolds to us the person of Jesus Christ as our amazing Lord who loves us in all kinds of ways, and with so much more than just words! I’m thinking we will have a blast with this study!
I understand, preaching is just one of many things I am to do as your pastor. And I have been told that is may be more important to be a good “pastor” than a good preacher. But I know how important the Sunday morning sermon is. Life is so very busy and we are pulled and challenged in so many directions. But with sermon time, you can sit down with God’s Word in hand and be nourished through the time-tested and God-honored tool of the preached Word. This has been happening for over 2000 years. Today we have video and audio aids to perhaps make the time more compelling. But we also have modern distractions of short attention spans and cell phones to make it more challenging. Still, in my opinion, nothing beats it. To hear a word from God, you listen to a sermon. The preacher needs to be studied-up, prayed-up, and powered-up by the Spirit. The congregant needs to be awake and attentive, having a good night’s rest. He has been praying ahead of time for that sermon, and he is now ready to listen to what will be expounded and respond as the Spirit so directs. Thus, in my opinion, the sermon time is sacred and divine.
I remember as a little boy sitting in a hard pew on Sunday mornings. I liked the music but could hardly endure the sermons. But as I have matured, along the way I have grown in my understanding of why Christians gather for church services. It is so very little about entertainment, and everything about worship- true for the music, true for the sermon. So I will see you Sunday- God has given me something to share!