Preaching is a huge responsibility and takes some good time and effort each week seeking to properly proclaim God’s word. Personally, I’ve been falling deeper and deeper in love with Jesus Christ and His ministry as we’ve been following the Gospel texts of the liturgical calendar. Yesterday, celebrating Communion after ruminating over Jesus’ words, “I am the bread of life,” really heightened and reminded us of the prominence of the Lord’s Table and the spiritual significance of “The Bread” sent from heaven to us.
As part of my process I’ve been asking lots of questions of God, myself and others, so I thought I’d write some of them down in journal fashion. This is not comprehensive, but is more of what is on my heart and mind right now. Some are groupings of questions related so I bunched them:
(1) What does the scripture say? How do I get beyond my own personal interpretation? Have I asked God to open my spiritual eyesight?
(2) What does all of scripture bear on this passage? Is it something new, or is it emphasizing and continuing what God has done before?
(3) Who is the author and what is the theological and practical thrust of the book, letter, prophecy, etc.? Where does this fit in this movement of the writer/speaker?
(4) What does the church and other reliable preaching and exegesis bear on this text? Church Fathers? Doctors and Contemporary Preaching and exposition? Commentaries?
(5) Who is the word being spoken to, and what is this scripture saying to them today? Know the crowd and seek to give God’s word to them, stand as a messenger bringing Good News. Can it be communicated in a creative and interesting way that can be heard and integrated without distraction?
(6) How is the Holy Spirit working today and giving us hope that this passage can challenge us today? How can we live out this challenge? Are we capable of disequilibrium and will this inspiration become action?
(7) After the sermon is given: Was I faithful? Did I guard against accidental heresy? Will there be questions because I didn’t explain well enough or didn’t chew enough to understand it myself? Was the gospel preached and Jesus Christ proclaimed? Was God glorified and the Holy Spirit revered? Lastly, What is the movement of the Spirit as we prepare for a week of action and return as the church to preach once again.
What questions do you ask when you stand to preach?