The Pleasure of Preaching
I have had the pleasure of preaching at my church six times in the last three years. Here are the passages and the titles:
Isaiah 53 – The Story of the Loving Father Who Bruised,Condemned, and Abandoned His Perfect Son (And Why This is Good News for Us All)
Luke 7 – I Have Nothing to Offer You But My Shameful Sin:Jesus Meets a Woman of Ill Repute and a Well-Respected Religious Leader, andYou’ll Never Guess Which One He Justifies
Genesis 22 – Reclaiming Love, Obedience, and Worship: God’sGoodness in the Midst of the Sacrifice of Our Most Cherished Things
Romans 8 – From a Dungeon of Our Own Making to An Unbridled andUnshakable Love: The Greatest Story the World Has Ever Known
Besides a slant towards long titles, do you see any running themes? I know it seems obvious, but when I preach my goal is to speak good news, and in order to do that I feel I need to establish that (1) we are in need of salvation, (2) because there is something called sin, but (3) oh what a relief that God makes a way.
Preaching is not easy, especially because my need for space to pray/hear/think/write/revise/practice doesn’t fit neatly into my chaotic schedule. (I’ve done sermon prep while proctoring a midterm, riding an airplane, and waiting outside a birthday party, for example, and the one and only time I practiced my sermon last weekend was the morning of at Home Depot while waiting for paint to be mixed.) But it’s something I enjoy, because I realize I am speaking not for or from myself but by something greater. This is particularly rewarding because what I am speaking is in fact good news. What a joy to share it!