The Fresh Air of Biblical ExpositionJanuary 3, 2007
Is it just me, or does expositional preaching take a back seat over Christmas? I know it shouldn’t. Anyone who loves Scripture and gospel and Christ will try to prevent it. But during Advent, the pressures to abort exposition are intense.
The logic is that Christmas is a tremendous evangelistic opportunity. It is. Perhaps more unchurched people darken our doors than at any other time of year. But for this same reason, we’re told that people can’t handle Scripture being explained at length.
So, the pressure on pastors increases to do less exposition, preach less lengthily, whilst at the same time skim more over the text. Caving in to at least some of the pressure, many of us will have succumbed to the “wee word” – as they say in Scotland – at the end of the service.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of this, steeping into January feels like a breath of fresh air. Constrictions lifted, we preachers have more time and space to do biblical texts the justice they deserve.
For example, along with the Senior Pastor in my church, I’ll be sharing the preaching through Jeremiah in the mornings and Luke’s gospel in the evenings.
The prospect is mouth watering.
The funny thing is, no one expects you to deal adequately with Jeremiah in twenty minutes: “that’s impossible.”
But for the incarnation?