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.”

1 comment:

  1. I like it (the comments about monologue/dialogue.
    And - because I've been reading Peterson, Hauerwas - and now some Brueggemann - I'm into intertwining stories.
    I'm in dialogue with God, with the text, with the community behind the text, with the people I'm preaching to (I'm with them - or some of them - during the week, hearing their stories...), with my inner-self (sort of standing apart, noticing what is going on. I find preaching awesome, because it can be a place where these dialogues, these conversations, these stories come together. And - because I am currently listening to Brueggemann - when this happens, preaching 'in the Spirit' holds out the possibility of new stories happening, new realities coming into being.


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