Sunday, May 25, 2008

What Do I know!

I find sermon Preparation, not one of the easiest parts of my Job. Sure, sometimes if I come across an interesting text, a sermon will virtually pop out and almost write itself, But usually and especially when preaching through a book in the Bible, it is rarely that easy to get a good message from it without constantly repeating oneself.

Well at least that is how I find things and thus and I prefer to have a lot of preparation time on each sermon before hand, and even while I am preparing for the next Sunday, I like to have at least the bones of the week after’s sermon down on paper too, if not the one after as well!

Lately I have been preaching through the Book of Isaiah and doing pretty well up to the end of chapter twelve. But then when looking for the main point of the following text, I found that the main point of the whole next 9 chapters was basically the same. (All Other Help Than God will fail, so who will you put your trust in?”) And so as to avoid repeating basically the same message for the next 9 weeks, only with a different text/passage each week, I ran the nine chapters together. Of course this made it a little longer than normal and in my mind a little bit disorganized. And so I agonised over it for quite some time and as we had a surprise guest speaker on Mother’s Day, I had an extra week to agonise over it.

Then just before I delivered it last week, at our Friday Cell group where we are also looking at Isaiah, but not at the same speed, one of the people there, mentioned that they were struggling with an overload of Isaiah and not looking forward to spending the next year on Isaiah.

Well I didn’t say anything then but thought to myself, if they feel that way now, how will they feel after my long message on Sunday.

Now with a small congregation, it is rare to get much feedback, so it is often hard to tell how well a message has gone, and this mob are not large on comments. So I was somewhat surprised after the message to have two people comment and comment positively. Especially as one was this person who mentioned previously that they were struggling with Isaiah.

So here was a message that although it was the best I could do with it, I wasn’t entirely happy with and yet others were! Go figure, hey?

So the message I got from this was, don’t worry about your own feelings toward what you do. Just make sure it is the best that you can do under your circumstances, and leave the rest up to God and your audience. Besides, there have also been times when I have preached what I thought was a brilliant message, only to receive blank stares and no acknowledgment of such.

So again don’t judge by your own feelings, but just do the best you can with everything you do in life and let others be the judge. For if you are anything like me, you would make a lousy judge too! At least where your own work is concerned!

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