This is my method of preaching. It’s how I think about and craft my sermons. Every sermon I deliver is some mix of these three moves.
I love preaching. I almost always draw from my experiences and life history. That personal connection helps ground the Bible where it needs to be put: our daily living. In doing so, I start to see my story in our stories.
Growing up, I spent a lot of time in the local library. I just loved the smell and feel of the place. Every book I read opened me up to the wide-array of the human experience. I decided that when I grew up, I would not only work in a library but also live in one. That dream has come true. Every day, I go to work in my office surrounded by full bookshelves. I come home to even more books.
My wife Kate and I are avid readers, and we are teaching our children this same love of books. Books are empathy machines which help unlock our story, our common humanity. They tell us that we are not alone. I am always on the lookout for more material and ways of getting at Our Story. The Story of being weird primates who can communicate through electricity, symbols, and machines.
I can find my story in the stories of others. Whether it’s blogs written yesterday, great books written in the last few decades, or in the stories of faith handed down to me through the eons.
Doing so leads us to THE story. God’s epic narrative of the universe. The Good News of God’s love shown in Jesus Christ. That love being lived out in nature, in humanity, and even in my personal life. Every story can point to our still speaking God.
So that is my movement. My Story. Our Story. THE Story. Not in that order always, but some formation of this.
Have you noticed this in my preaching? What are your thoughts?