Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What Happened to the Sermon?

So you may be wondering what happened to my sermon from Sunday, as it is now Tuesday and I have yet to post it.  Well basically I trashed my manuscript and went without notes.  I was struggling with the gospel text all week: Luke 17:11-19, the story of Jesus healing ten lepers.

I was struggling with this text because even though only one returns, all ten are healed.  It is so easy for us as preachers, and as Christians in general, to try and lump ourselves in with the one who returned to Jesus and therefore everyone else must be like one of the ungrateful nine who didn't return.  However they were only doing what Jesus told them to do, go to the priest.  We don't know if the nine returned later, or if they praised God at the temple or maybe they even became followers of Jesus after they too looked down and realized that they were healed.

I wrote my sermon on Wednesday before bible study, but then had new ideas after bible study.  But when I went to play with my sermon later in the week I thought it was okay, but then couldn't remember what I wanted to change.  And then Saturday night when I read it over again I wasn't happy with it. So when I went to preach, I just spoke from the heart.  I did use a few ideas that were in my original sermon, especially an idea that we are often so quick to explain away God - chalk up the sunset to science or think the stranger who helped us was only there because of coincidence.

But I also added ideas, I talked about how worship helps us see God more clearly in our lives. When we come together to worship we are praising God but also remembering all the ways that God has interacted with us in the previous week.  All ten were healed but only one actually saw that he was healed.

And in all honesty I don't really know what all I said.  In fact at least once I thought I was rambling, but when I asked a few people about it after worship, no one else seemed to think so.  Whatever I said, I'm sure I said it because it was what God wanted me to say and what someone in worship needed to hear.

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