Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Dialogue or Monologue?

A couple of weeks ago we had to argue for either monologue or dialogue for preaching. Now my stance is there is no such thing as a true monologue in a sermon because:

  • The preacher is in a dialogue with God. Prayer and mediation on the verse are part of this after all as we read the scriptures we too are challenged.
  • As no preacher is an island (to borrow from About a Boy) reading commentaries etc is engaging with other voices too.
  • Because it is a lectionary reading, it is a community decision rather than choosing my particular favorite verse.
  • If we are reading scripture and engaging with scripture people will respond and that may be because of the sermon or not.
I know many see dialogue as between the preacher and the congregation in the delivery of the sermon, people breaking into small groups to discuss or some other way of feeding back or interaction. However not all contexts allow for this, but the sermon can still be dialogue if the preparation is not done in isolation, so with that in mind even though my next sermon will be a monologue in delivery the preparation is not.

So with that in mind does anyone want to input into my sermon on Matt 25.31-46?

Matthew 25:31-46

31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ 41Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Saturday, 5 November 2011

The week that was...

This week has been an interesting one, I suppose the biggest one has been the realisation that I have not really come to terms with dyspraxia. I am not at peace with it for several reasons:

  • College is so busy that taking time to actually think and read about it has been limited
  • I am still waiting for confirmation of study skills sessions (only completed one whole year of study)
  • When I talk about it, I often find people don't understand (why would they I don't)
  • I have been really clumsy this week (I have the bruises)
  • But mainly I have been grumpy with myself whenever I do something related to it (ie can't remember someone's name, bump into something, especially the bad key day)
I haven't lost perspective but I think I am on a different part of the learning curve. I suppose the denial (before being diagnosed) was several years so I shouldn't expect to get to integration already. It has been suggested that I do a project on dyspaxia and ministry and I think that this project is a fantastic way for me to really reflect and pray and find ways to adapt to life with dyspraxia.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

All Saints- Light

Hallelujah- All saints day! No not supporting some past-it girl band from my youth, but a day of celebration and life.

This week at college we have been celebrating those saints who have inspired us, the every day saints, mums and dads or others who have been significant in our faith journeys, it has been great to take time to do this. 

My faith journey has led me to this point and ordination as a deacon in July next year, something I would have thought as crazy 10 years ago. I have been so blessed to have many saints in my life, not least my parents who have prayed for me supported me, put up with me, but most of all loved me and shared Jesus with me. My testimony is not one of I once was a drug addict or alcoholic who has been transformed but the story of one who has had God's light shine into my life. As I have grown up I have looked further into the light and realised i have still needed to be changed and transformed, I haven't got there. It is the grace of God alone which has opened the windows of heaven.

I recall one day being told by someone at church(they were having a bad day to be fair) that  I hope your halo dosent choke you Paul. If I boast in anything other than in Jesus Christ then it is me once more at the centre and all this is is a smug, self satisfied life. God has come that we may have life and life in it's fullness in abundance. So often when we proclaim good news it sounds anything but, yet recalling this weeks posts:

  • Light brings warmth, it reveals and brings life. 
  • Prayer to me seems to be ideally suited to the image of light
The passage I started with John 1 seems to continue to be at the front and centre of my reflection.

Light is great but it can create in us feelings of vulnerability, fear and shame. But this light we have been looking at is not a light which seeks to destroy but is also life.

In the Bible we see light in various forms as something which leads, Moses was led to a burning bush, the children of Israel followed the fire by night (fire by night)...the wise men followed a star a lamp on a table and tongues of fire fell on those gathered in the upper room. In all these cases (if you forgive my use of fire as light) we see God leading people to life. My prayer is that we might be bearers of light.

Father of lightsyou never change and in you there is no darknessOpen our lives to the true light of the worldHoly Spirit fill our lamps with oil so we might bring your light with us wherever we goIn Jesus Christ's name