Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Husted Homiletics

From a workshop by Heidi Husted entitled "Preaching in the Missional Church"...

Dr. Husted described a process that she used in her congregation named "Partners in Ministry." The following are "voices which are part of the dialogue" of sermon preparation.

1. The Text itself.
We should preach texts. This is the first naivete. Read the text over and over again. Read the text aloud. Use different translations including paraphrases like the Message or the Cotton Patch Gospels. Wallow in the the text.

2. Listen to the World behind the Text.
Look at the Greek and Hebrew. Study the historical-critical background. Remember that full objectivity is not possible.

3. Literary Form.
Note the world that the text creates.

4. Your Voice (The Preacher's Voice).
Where am I coming from?

5. Listen to the Congregation.
What hits you in the text? What would your congregation pick up on? What is surprising or offensive, confusing or ellusive, connecting or disconnecting?

6. Listen to the Distant Others.
The disinfranchised. Differences in class, race, culture and faith.

7. Listen to the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit should be present in the entire process.

I would only add a few things. We should listen to the Church. How has the church interpreted the text? Does the text bring insight to the Confessions? How?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Arminian Grace


Keywords: grace, works, faith, gift

(Sung to the tune of "Amazing Grace")

Arminian "grace!" How strange the sound,
Salvation hinged on me.
I once was lost then turned around,
Was blind then chose to see.

What "grace" is it that calls for choice,
Made from some good within?
That part that wills to heed God's voice,
Proved stronger than my sin.

Thru many ardent gospel pleas,
I sat with heart of stone.
But then some hidden good in me,
Propelled me toward my home.

When we've been there ten thousand years,
Because of what we've done,
We've no less days to sing our praise,
Than when we first begun.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Cutting Holes in the Darkness

Building One Another, September 5, 2006 e-Volume 5, No. 36 "Cutting Holes" by Stanley Ott

Keywords: light

I love the story James Hewitt tells in his Illustrations Unlimited of author Robert Louis Stevenson, who at age twelve upon watching a man light the gas streetlights, said to his governess, “I am watching a man cut holes in the darkness.”

Wow! What a vivid picture. It is certainly obvious that there is plenty of darkness in our world and in our own lives. The idea that holes may be cut in that darkness is hopeful, liberating, and motivating.

Jesus Christ has cut such a huge hole in the darkness that when all is finally said and done, there will be no darkness. “What has come into being in him [Jesus] was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” John 1:3-4*

Jesus Christ is cutting holes in the darkness in your life. His mercy, grace, and love have moved you from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of God’s beloved son. Whatever your need may be, open yourself to his enlightening work in your life.

Just as we realize that Jesus cuts holes in the darkness, so ought you and I to cut holes in the darkness we encounter. Ask yourself and your Lord to help you see the darkness in your own life and in the situations around you and decide what to do - and do it!

‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16