As we start out this morning, I’d like to explore a couple of temptations the preacher faces when dealing with a biblical text. The preacher’s task, of course, is to explore a particular text, and then to share its message with the congregation. The sermon itself can take many different forms – there are many different styles of preaching – but the task is always the same – to repeat and share the message of the text.
Now in the background to this task there are a couple of temptations – more than a couple – but there are two I want to mention this morning. And the first of these temptations is a temptation to smooth over different points of view within the text. Within the Christian tradition we believe that the Hebrew bible and the New Testament are faithful witnesses to life of God with his people. The scriptures provide one grand narrative of God’s creation and covenant. But at the same time, within that one grand narrative there are different voices:
voices that emphasizes particular issues,
voices that raise specific questions,
voices that explore different aspects of our life with God. Continue reading