Friday, February 29, 2008

Mark 14:53-72 - Two Men and the Truth and Us


Passage: Mark 10:53-72
Originally Preached: 24/02/08 - 6:30pm Service - St Stephen's Anglican, Belrose
Series: The Path to Glory

Description: Jesus' decision to stand for truth saved us from the consequences of our cowardice.

Comment: This was the first sermon I've ever done with no jokes. That mightn't seem like a very significant thing for many preachers. It has been for me though. Humour has always been important for me. It's been a key tool for connecting with the congregation, sustaining interest, and helping people engage with the text. But I have been challenged for a while to preach without humour. My reasoning for this has been to challenge me not to rely on laughs. But this has never been a good enough reason in and of itself.

But when the passage of Jesus' trial and Peter's denial came and I started crafting the sermon it became increasingly clear that this wasn't a sermon for jokes. So it's not.

I did enjoy doing this one though. I loved the contrast between Jesus and Peter. It was a contrast I'd never really picked up on before. So obvious, but the NIV headings in my Bible kinda threw me off.

The commitment of Jesus to holding onto and proclaiming truth was a massive challenge to me, but also a wonderful reminder of the amazing character of Jesus that was able and willing to stand up under such pressure.

Peter's denial felt all too familiar. The grace of Jesus towards Peter is wonderfully moving.

Stylistically this sermon was different in that is was more narrative based than previous sermons. While I often try and have a more narrative structure to sermons on narrative passages, on this one I scraped the idea of articulating specific points completely. I decided it would be better just to tell the story of Jesus, Peter and Us parallel to each other. It also meant that the sermon had more of a Beginning-Middle-End structure than Introduction-Three Points-Conclusion structure. I guess being a storyteller at heart this approach appealed to me.

I've been listening to a bit of Martin Luther King Jr lately too, so I think that may have had a bit to do with the finished product.

So over all I'm happy with the result. It was a rather scary experiment, but people were friendly about it. I was especially happy with the girl who told me she loved the sermon because she loves "stuff about Christmas." It's always comforting to know people are listening.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe how fresh this post is. As I prepare to preach this passage tomorrow I googled the text and this came up. I appreciate your comments and I appreciate the feeling of community with the Church at large and the Word of God uniting us. I'm a Venezuelan baptist preacher in Texas, USA, and here you are "down under" doing the same, the same week. God bless you; it was just a nice feeling I got and wanted to share.

3/02/2008 4:58 am  

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