A good sermon should help people understand the Bible on its own terms. Not just what the preacher says about the Bible (though that is certainly important), not just what the words of the Bible themselves say (though undeniably important), but a good sermon will help the listeners know the story as if they were in it themselves. The congregant becomes a character in the story- perhaps the blind disciples in Mark’s gospel who, so bent on ruling in Israel, can’t seem to wrap their minds around the fact that the kingdom and the King are about suffering and sacrifice; perhaps the congregant becomes the Pharisees in Luke’s gospel, who were so bent on ritual cleanness and Sabbath keeping that they had neglected the law’s emphasis on sacrificing for the poor.
We know our own culture firsthand without anyone having to explain it to us. We remember the impact of Martin Luther King’s words, while at the same time living in the very world that was impact by those words. Once we understand the culture of Jesus and his earliest followers, seeing which characters in the gospels we most resemble comes second-hand and we are given the chance to hear from the first preachers: Mark, Matthew, Luke, Paul, John, Peter and the rest.
Pastor David’s ‘lecture-sermons’ are delivered to the congregation of Academia Church each periodically. If you can’t make it to fellowship with us in person, we welcome you to join us online and hear the word from our well-informed assistant pastor.