Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Sermon Preparation

I suddenly found myself with 4 sermons to preach with the first this Sunday and the next three on Good Friday and two on Resurrection Sunday. How do I prepare for sermons? After preaching 30 years I still don’t have a stock sermon. Nothing written up except brief notes here and there. Except for my TTC sermons that needed translation to Mandarin and two of 2017’s sermons for 370 SIB pastors gathered at that time. I wrote close to 4,000 words each sermon and there was food aplenty.
But now I start afresh. I quieten down my spirit in the morning. Sometimes it takes more than an hour before my soul is still and ears opened to listen to what the Spirit has to say. But there is no better preparation than knowing your Bible like the back of your hands. As Scripture interprets Scripture one is always open to allusions from different books of the Bible sometimes from unusual places. There are two major versions of the original texts. You have the Hebrew MT and the Greek translation called the Septuagint or LXX, the latter being Roman numerals, 70. Then you have the Greek New Testament which every preacher should read regularly. John Wesley started his university ministry by reading the Greek NT to his fellow students. For hundred of years since reformation until middle of 20th century almost all Western Universities require students to know Greek, Latin and Hebrew. I have been reading the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Song of Songs while writing notes. I would not call it a commentary but it is looking like it.

As for sermon preparation then it is time for prayers not just over the text and sermon but for the congregation one preaches to so that the Word of God finds a place in the hearts of men and women and that we, all God’s people are granted teachable and obedient hearts for Christ’s sake.

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