Friday, April 08, 2005

Preaching for the First Time

Last Tuesday, I preached my first ever sermon to a small group of classmates in my "Introduction to Preaching" section. The scripture upon which the sermon was based was Matthew 16:13-20:
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’ Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
In the sermon, I focus on the primacy and immediacy of the question "Who do you say that I am," and the implications of the question for us.

The Waters of Caesarea PhilippiPreaching, my friends, is a daunting experience. When you approach the pulpit for the first time, time starts to crawl by. Despite all of my preparations and rehearsals, the sense of nervousness I felt was intense. And even though it all went well, I had a stomachache after I had finished. Hopefully the physical impact of preaching will become something I get used to over time.

The presentation was videotaped. Upon review, one thing I've learned is this: If you are trying to emphasize a point with a gesture of some kind, you need to make a BIG gesture. If you don't, it looks as if you hardly moved at all.

A copy of the sermon manuscript can be found here.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Sunday Dog Blog

Guarding the fort.

"I would rather see the portrait of a dog that I know, than all the allegorical paintings they can show me in the world."
- Samuel Johnson

Originally uploaded by Buttercup Meadow.