Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Preaching on Martha/Mary -30July06

I preached last Sunday on Luke 10:36-11:1, with a focus on Martha and Mary. The stories were told. The exegesis were made. The observations were mentioned and the applications for us were explained. The start was slow, as I fumbled over trying to put many things within the first 5-10 minutes. I knew that from my expository preaching classes that context is critical. Somehow, I felt like a living Martha scrambling in my head and mouth over the many exciting discoveries I made regarding the text with the limited time given. Indeed, only after the initial 10 minutes, I started to focus on one thing which helped tremendously. Words came natural. The thinking juices started flowing like a brand new fountain. I gave the congregation the question: "Is the text telling us to be Martha-like or Mary-like?" After giving sufficient rhetoric over that, I pounced onto my main point and thought I hit it home.

Yet I felt strangely disturbed within me. I do not feel like I have connected my heart with the hearts of the congregation. Preaching is already hard, from a preparation and delivery standpoint. However, to preach as a form of worship and neighbourly care for the congregation is to me a distant art, that I can simply glimpse at. My feelings danced between disappointment and hope. Perhaps that is the Lord trying to care for me in a way that does not flatter me or break me.

May the Lord be merciful on my next 2 sermons in August.


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