Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Preacher's Study - 6 Easter

 Wednesday morning in the Preacher's Study

First thoughts about next Sunday's sermon (6 Easter Year C)

Todd Townshend

Most homileticians advocate for a some kind of “theme” sentence for the sermon—a focus statement, a function statement, central idea, a declarative sentence that serves to proclaim something of the Good News. Paul Scott Wilson organizes his homiletic with “Four Pages of the Sermon” (Abingdon Press, 1999) and on “page three” the preacher offers a sustained focus on the gracious activity of God, summarized in a theme sentence. 

One of the texts for this Sunday is John 5:1-9, and one of the best theme sentences I’ve heard/read is found in Wilson’s book, page 174. Hank Langknect reads John 5:1-9 and he sees that “Jesus just heals the man”, so in his sermon, he repeats it no less than eight times.

The man at the pool is pictured in a humorous way—one that we recognize—saying, “’I want to be healed, I want to be healed’, yet all the while he’s got his arms wrapped around a column, with Jesus pulling on his feet, trying to drag him into the water.” (174) 

But Jesus persists. According to the preacher, “Jesus doesn’t call the man’s bluff. Jesus cuts right through the whole game; and he just heals him. No repentance necessary, no jumping into the pool, no particular willingness on the man’s part to be healed, the man doesn’t even ask Jesus to heal him. Jesus just heals him. “Stand up, take your mat, and walk.” And at once, the man was made well. Jesus just heals him.” (175)

“Do you want to be made well?” Thirty Eight Years, and now, here stands Jesus. What say ye?

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