This Sunday will be unlike many that have come before. Our minister will be absent from the parish in his role as Moderator of the Seymour-Nagambie-Yea parish and will be preaching at Yea and Seymour as the Session there ordains a new elder. In his absence, members of the congregation will be conducting the service at Wodonga.
Preaching is a challenge and a great responsibility. To discern the message of the text and then convey it in an understandable without taming it down is hard to do. That said, the message of the Bible is simple enough for it to be understood by the first time reader.
Just today, a student at PTC Melbourne, Nathan Bingham posted this quote on his blog:
No man knows anything about higher mathematics until he can explain it clearly to the man on the street. Jules Henri Poincaré.
Martin Luther, a university professor, said that he did not consider he had done his job unless he preached so that the children in his congregation could understand the message.
This is also one of the marks of authoritative preaching, as demonstrated by one of the great Evangelical preachers of the 20th century, Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones. His assistant at Westminster Chapel in London, latterly the minister of St. Giles Presbyterian Church in Sydney, Iain Murray outlines the characteristics of powerful preaching:
1. It always is attended by a consciousness of the presence of God.
2. There is no problem of holding the attention of the people.
3. Even children can understand it.
4. It is preaching that results in a change in those who listen.
May the these each be present in the preaching this and every Sunday!
It has been my pleasure to preach at Wodonga on one occasion and I will be remembering Alan and Michael as they fill the pulpit this Lord’s Day. Please pay close attention to the Word and encourage those who bring it to you.