When Sermons Weigh HeavyMay 28, 2008
Some sermons are a particularly heavy load to carry. Take the sermon I’m preaching this week on Stephen’s martyrdom (Acts 6:8 – 8:1). Already I’m feeling the weight of carrying a passage like this to God’s people. I’m not sure what it is about some week’s sermons that make them feel especially ‘burdensome’ (in the right sense of that word). I know some reasons though:
A passage may be dealing with a particular sin that I myself struggle with. That makes its content weigh heavy. Its called conviction.
A passage may similarly present a challenge in an area where I feel very inadequate. For example, the pastor who struggles greatly in personal evangelism will likely find a sermon on that theme very demanding!
A passage may contain some particularly sobering content. Preached on Ananias and Sapphira recently? How about the 10 judgment oracles near the end of Jeremiah?!
A passage may reveal the majesty of God in particularly obvious and overwhelming ways. Gazing constantly into the vision of Isaiah 6:1-10 can feel like a strange mixture of pleasure and pain. Pleasure at beholding God in his majestic holiness; pain in the deepening knowledge of my sin and inadequacy.