My students here at Africa Renewal University are fantastic. They speak English, although my accent and theirs can get crossways sometimes. However, we are doing a good job of communicating across cultures, fairly well. And, when one your students “gets it” a teacher’s heart explodes in joy. Especially when a concept about preaching is understood!
As we were talking about “text and framework” I was trying to get across the idea that we must let the text be primary and our frameworks (lenses) be secondary. It sounds pretty easy — but we forget, often, the bias and temporal needs that we come to the text with.
So, I preached a sermon to my students. Opening to Luke 18 I told the story of the widow who comes to the Unrighteous Judge and pounds on his door until he gives justice. I then said, with great fervor, that the parable says that we must keep praying… never giving up… with loud voices… and attend our all night prayer service. Amen!
They loved it!! It was very exciting… and I tricked them…
I asked them if that was the point of the passage? It starts out that way… but is that the point? Should we keep praying because we need to get God’s attention?
It was quiet, until one raised his hand and said, “No, the passage speaks of God’s great love for the elect!! It’s a contrast!! We don’t need to wake God up… he’s already responding!!” In so many words we need simply to pray trusting in God’s character!
Amen! It was fantastic to see his eyes light up and to hear him talk of preaching what God’s heart is rather than simply what obligates people.
That’s Good News… not good advice!