I gave my first sermon this past Sunday. It was pretty exciting for me, and it was seemingly well-received. I wish that I had had a bit more time to practice it. (I find a speech is a bit like a shoe – it must be worn in a bit before it gets comfortable.) But I did feel that it was, at the very least, well-researched and thoughtful, which is the best I could do at this point.
I do wonder what my old pastor would have said about it. Actually, I don’t really. I suspect he would have said, as he did of the last talk I sent him, “this sounds more like a lesson and less like a sermon.” But fire and brimstone sermons have a way of rolling off hearts like raindrops on wax. I’d rather try to tell the truth, and tell it slant – to explain the word of God and let the Holy Spirit do the rest. I’m sure the kingdom needs both the preachers and the teachers.
I’m including the full text below.
A friend of a friend was interested in studying the Bible to learn what it’s about. As I reviewed two potential introductory Bible studies to go through, I realized I disliked each of them for different reasons. The first one was too focused on personal salvation (the typical start – create the problem of sin and resolve it with forgiveness), a method I think is ineffective and narcissistic. The second one began by trying to demonstrate the authority of Scripture with… Scripture itself! (And used the typical evangelical debasement of 1 Timothy 3:16) I decided this just wouldn’t do. So I’m going to post here the verses I’ve pulled for each week.
Week 1 – Who is Jesus?
Genesis 1 (God created the Universe)
John 1:1-18 (Jesus is this creator God – logos – incarnate in the flesh)
Colossians 1:15-20 (All things are created through Jesus and for Jesus)
Mark 1:14-15 (Jesus came to declare, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand!”)