In seminary you take preaching classes as you might expect. You learn about speaking clearly, delivery styles, and connecting with the congregation (you hope), but you spend most of your time on homiletics, exegesis, and hermeneutics. My dad would call those last three words, “Three dollar college words.” He would have been close, but because I went to Emory they are six dollar seminary words. Translated into everyday words they are ways to speak about a theological viewpoint, interpreting scripture, and writing sermons. At this point you might say, “Well now we know what is wrong with her sermons.”
Mixed in with the exegesis, Greek, and Hebrew were some more basic instructions. We were not taught to preach a three point sermon, but a sermon that had one focus and one function. My professor Dr. Gail O’Day said, “Preach one sermon a week, because you have fifty two weeks in a year.” How do you do that? Each week I try and decide what would be one claim of the scripture that week. For example, God loves you, Jesus saves us, or God’s Spirit guides us.
Some passages are easier than others as you might guess, because most scripture can have more than one claim about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Luke 9:51-62 is definitly one of those passages that have multiple possibilities. Is the claim of this text: the cost of Discipleship is high, we are to give up home and family to follow Jesus, or Jesus was only concerned about getting to Jerusalem?
Let’s see if we come to the same conclusion today.
God’s Grace & Peace,