Struggled this week through more drafts than usual to get a satisfactory sermon, from my delivery end. Receivers will make their own judgement. At heart of the struggle, I think, was a lack of clarity in my mind about what I wanted to deliver. Information? Bible knowledge? Inspiring thoughts? I had a passage, Romans 13:8-14 which is perfect for 'teaching the Bible' - juicy verses dripping with exegetical possibilities. But was the congregation agog with desire to listen to exegesis? Possibly. But in the end I took another tack. I thought of a problem and a question and set out to solve one and answer the other.
The problem and question were a 'best guess' at something of interest and relevance to the congregation. The problem was, being tempted to give up on doing good as a Christian. This led to reflection on 13:11-14. The questions was, how do we know what to do? This was related to 13:8-10.
The question about what the purpose of preaching is, not just this sermon, but any sermon, has stood out for me this week. I suggest it is worth every preacher thinking about!