Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Revelation 3:1-6 - Dealing with Deadness


Passage: Revelation 3:1-6
Originally Preached: 30/11/08 - 6:30pm Service - St Stephen's Anglican, Belrose
Series: Seven Letters to Seven Churches

Description: Jesus doesn't give up on the dead

Comment: As I say in the sermon this was a passage that worried me. I didn't want to have to tell my church that it's dead. But as far as I can see it's not dead. But then again, perhaps that's the irony (irony?) of the situation. Even if we were a dead church, I wouldn't know, I'm part of the church. Sardis didn't know they were dead, so it's entirely possible that we haven't figured it out either.

One of the congregation was worried that by my introduction I was implying that the passage wasn't applicable to our church because we weren't dead. So let me say here, that wasn't my intention. I think all the Bible has application for us, and can speak into our current situation even if the situation we are in doesn't totally correlate with one people deal with in Scripture.

This was a hard sermon to write. I only found out I was preaching it late on the Monday before. I thought that'd be enough time, though I didn't realise how much background prep I do before I do any serious prep. I generally spend at least a month thinking about a sermon before I get down to actually reading and making notes. So this time I was a feeling like I was playing catch up bit. Add to that the fact that I doing a preaching experiment at youth group the Saturday night before, and that didn't leave me with a lot of space to be thinking up new stuff.

I went into the service on Sunday with a whole different illustration for the Back to Basics section. It was about those dreams when you turn up at school naked. I think it's a funny idea but it wasn't really serving the message. Though it was all I had, so I had to use it. I only thought of the water thing during the prayers in the service. But I realised it was better, so I went with it. I think it may have been the provision of Jesus, but I wish he wouldn't cut it so fine.

I was a little worried about talking about my old church. Mainly because I think I'm often harsh on my old church. I think probably it was a church full of wonderful people, who are now doing wonderful things, but it wasn't a wonderful church. Plus the fact that I spent a lot of time at the church wanting to leave was probably an indication that things there weren't exactly how I would have liked. It wouldn't surprise me if there were a lot of us wanting to leave but we had no-where else to go.

Anyway, I have fond memories of my previous church, I'm just pretty sure it wasn't entirely healthy.

The congregation was very responsive during this sermon. You can hear on the recording many points where I get heckled by some person or another. I kinda like the interactivity, but when you're as tired as I was on Sunday, it means you get a little distracted and say silly things. Still I'd rather have a interactive congregation than a sleeping one.

I think all up, I was worried about this sermon. I had no idea if it was good or not. I was worried it would bomb. So if it went ok, it was Jesus who did it.

I hope you get something out of it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked your sermon on "Dealing with Deadness." Sounded like you had freedom of the Spirit to preach and sounds like you had fun as well.
Keep up the good work.
Thanks for posting it.

12/10/2008 9:29 am  

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