Sunday, April 14, 2013

Preacher & Interpreter in Tandem

Some people think I simply dish out an old sermon when I preach from one church to another. But I never to do that, not when I wait on the Lord for days and weeks and there is always something fresh from the Lord for His people. Nowadays when I have a full load of teaching week-days, it means I have only the week-end to prepare my Sunday's sermon. In actual time spent, it is about 10 hours, writing up the outline and preparing the slides but another 15 hours or more meditating, reflecting on the passages concerned for a week or two before setting pen on paper.

For today's sermon on 1 Peter 1:1-2, and 2:11, I looked up the Greek from Spicq's Theological Study of the New Testament and read Philo's and Cicero's works. I also thought of how to relate the concept of "aliens and strangers" in today's context of the citizens and foreigners debate in Singapore and what constitutes a true citizen in the biblical sense. In all, I spent about 25 hours in preparing for the sermon. It was a beauty today. The preacher and interpreter speaking in tandem, a sight to behold, a delight to the ears. Thanks be to God for great interpreters! My interpreter today was brilliant (2nd time translating for me) and she is a preacher herself and a pastor's wife who is theologically trained. I moved away from script often but she had no problems translating it. It took 40 minutes in all which means my sermon lasted about 22 minutes and 18 minutes for the translation. The worship leader deserved praise as well for the songs were sung with gutso and rhythm, among some of my favourites. I shed a few tears (not a torrent as it could be) and wiped my eyes several times before ascending to the pulpit. I was borne up by the Spirit, the energy through worship was sufficient to cover any lack of preparation or nervousness and anointing increases as God is enthroned in the midst of the praises of His people.

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