Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Matt 13:34-30,36-43: Living with the Weeds


Passage: Matthew 13:34-30,36-43
Originally Preached: 11/03/07 - 6:30pm Service - St Stephen's Anglican, Belrose
Series: The Growth of the Kingdom

Description: How do we deal with the continuing presence of Evil?

Comment: I worked on this sermon for weeks. It caused many a phone call and a meeting. Mostly because I was trying to coordinate with a drama group that might have been performing beforehand. But it was good because it gave me about 2 weeks extra lead time than I normally put in. It was nice to do a sermon with extra thought put.

I was pretty happy with this sermon. I'm not sure what other people thought, but I was pleased. I was pretty tired when I preached it, I was in the middle of a massive week. You can tell I'm tired because I stumble over my words a little more than usual. But people understood me I think.

The opening illustration was probably the most political I have got in a sermon. I rarely get explictly political because there seems to be an idea that preachers should tell you how to vote. I guess it's to stop preachers using the pulpit to further human agendas of power. But I'm regularly tempted to tell people who not to vote for.

Anyway, while I was pretty silly in this illustration, it's pretty clear where I stand politically at the moment in this current political climate. But saying where I put my vote is different from telling other people where they should put theirs.

I spent a while thinking about the Kevin Rudd illustration in. I wasn't sure if the youth would be all that interested. But I figured if I did it right they could stay with me. I think it worked.

The whole idea of talking about people going to hell wasn't easy. Especially when it is as black and white as this passage. And also as positive. Jesus seems to just say "And then the evil people will get burned". And in an abstract sense it works fine, i want to see the end of evil. But when you talk about actual people you know going to hell it wasn't sitting as comfortably for me. So I tried to address both those issues.

Knowing that it was going to be a hard passage about evil and judgment, I worked hard to have illustrations which were more light hearted. Maybe it's just me, but I figure a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.

I think that's all I have to say about this one.


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