Tuesday, February 10, 2009

No Trouble for Me, Safe for you

Philip. 3:1 (ESV)
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.

Too often the pastor beats his head against the door trying to find something new to say. Pastors go to preaching seminars etc. to overcome this. Every once in a while I wonder if I should leave the liturgy, “improve upon it” or something because the people must be bored with the same words Sunday after Sunday. Or perhaps I am bored of them. I know better, but ….
Then along come these words, no trouble for me, and safe for you. Great words when it comes to the liturgy, no trouble for me safe for you. Why tinker with it? I have enough trouble just putting the bulletin together and coming up with a sermon. Why should I rearrange the service all together? As it is it is no trouble for me, and safe for you.
To a certain extent I see the need for this in sermons too. Repetition is the mother of all learning. The best profs I had in college and Seminary repeated. Sometimes you thought you were taking the same class with a different title. But at least you learned something. I don’t remember much of what I learned. But I remember the phrases my profs would repeat. To this extent I think it is only proper that a pastor have a few key phrases carefully worded that he repeats from time to time. If they get the gospel across then use them, repeat them, wait a week and repeat them again. Things like “Your sins are forgiven.” “Jesus Christ died for you, God died for you.” “The Christian life is not about living the perfect life, but living the forgiven life.” You can’t repeat forgiveness too much, but you can try.

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