I have been asked if I sit down and read these sermons as I would a book. Every once in awhile I will, but normally, as I prepare a sermon, I do 4 things:
- I pray and meditate over the text. This may be a few days, a few weeks or a couple of months. Since I don't preach regularly, I have this luxury. I will be preaching twice in January, so there are two texts that I have read and reread and prayed about. What does the text say? Why does God want me to use these texts? What is the true meaning of these texts in context to the culture and scripture? How this be applied today?
- I exegete the passage to see what it really says in the original language. If it is a N.T. text, then I look at the verbals to see what is happening. Why is Jesus or Paul using the language he is using in that particular letter or situation? What is the background? Why is the letter being written or what is happening in the narrative? Are there any cultural idioms to be aware of?
- I look at other commentaries to see what conservative theologians have to say about the text.
- Lastly, I read sermons from preachers that I respect which include the men named earlier in this post. It doesn't hurt to read how God spoke through other men during different times.
Wow! I didn't realize how far off track I got. I start by telling you about my shipment of sermons by Joseph Parker and end up explaining my sermon preparation. I am excited about the shipment arriving and for the chance to preach a couple of times.