Pastor's Letter

Dear friends,

What is the purpose of preaching? Why do I spend hours every week preparing a message to deliver to you all? And why is it called a “sermon”?

Well, the last one is easy to answer: it comes from Latin sermo which means “continued speech; learned talk, discourse", but originally just "a stringing together of words” – which might seem an apt description of what I do in the lectern every Sunday morning!

But hopefully there’s more to my sermons than just a string of words – I intend for there to be some useful content as well! And as all Christian sermons are (or should be) based on the Bible, we can go back to 2 Tim 3:16 to remind ourselves what the Word of God is meant to achieve in our lives.

It’s useful for teaching: telling us things we don’t know (and couldn’t know) about God, ourselves and the world around us.

It’s useful for rebuking and correcting: sometimes we get things wrong, and the Word is there to help us discover when we’ve gone astray, and to encourage us to repent and return to the Truth.

It’s useful for training in righteousness: I’m sure God prefers to tutor, rather than rebuke us! The Bible is the guide for our discipleship – not just as a simple “do this, don’t do that”, but in showing us who Jesus is, so that the Holy Spirit can get to work in us, transforming us into his likeness.

And my preaching is simply meant to be an extension of all that. If my sermons flow from the Word of God, they will help the Spirit achieve his purpose in us as individuals and as a church. If they don’t, they will be pointless, which would be rather sad… So if you have any helpful hints, please let me know how I can improve my weekly word-stringing!

David

(November 2018)