Didn’t use quite as much Hebrew as I originally thought I might. That’s probably for the best, of course.
I usually write a pretty detailed manuscript, though I don’t quite read it. But, that usually is dependent on more preparatory time (virtually memorizing transitions). With that simply out of the question…
I prepared a point-wise set of thoughts and scriptures. I was definitely more nervous than previous times preaching, owing to the different format of my notes. But it worked well. I actually liked this approach better. Not nearly as much dependence on the script, not as much worry about forgetting something. The flexibility of rearranging points and such on the fly was put to immediate good use.
People responded to the message well, it seemed. So all in all, great.
The message centered around Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (and 10-12, too, though not as centrally). In the course of the sermon, we looked at Psalm 23 as an example of both God’s intimacy and his covenant relationship with his people. We looked at Job’s response to God’s greatness towards the end of that book.
In the New Testament, we looked at the passage in John where Jesus points out the crowds and highlights the work God has done to prepare the work that he sets before us. This tied right in to this point of Deuteronomy, specifically v. 10-12 where Moses reminds the people that they are being given a land, crops, wells – all they need, but not of their own effort.
This is certainly not a random text to preach from. There is always room for us to be reminded how God has not changed; he was loving and faithful before, and he continues to be. To be reminded that God is unique, standing alone worthy of our worship. But I think the element that repeatedly came to the forefront is how God is not absent from any arena of our lives. He fills menial tasks with glory, as much as he does the preaching of the word. We need not be in some especially “religious” or “spiritual” setting to experience God. And we are to pour our whole heart, soul and strength into every thing we engage in – not because we are on a “mission” project or working in the church, but because God is who he is and we are in a special relationship with him – wherever we find ourselves, at home, on the job, sitting in a coffee shop, having our groceries rung up, whatever.
If you are reading this, I hope you can see God at work around you this week.
Oh, as an aside, I don’t like Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer (not really beer) very much. Bought some on a whim. There is this back flavor that is just appalling, like bile. Ugh.
Okay, done now.