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Much of Scripture is meant to be enjoyed, not applied.
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A good reminder that God's message is not always about us (me).
I like the focus on proclamation and the telling of Good News. Also, emphasis on beauty. However, "all Scripture is God-breathed and useful for" ...dare I say? Application! God does intend for it to ultimately find useful application in our lives. Still, a thought provoking article. Thanks!
Excellent observation here. I once had a pastor who asked me how many "how-to" sermons Jesus preached. I didn't appreciate it at the time, but in my preaching I want the beautiful truths to come through of what God is doing, trusting the Spirit is putting His finger on the specific things each listener will find himself/herself knowing they must do now. NT Wright also reminded me of the importance of Scripture reading in the worship service, not as a set-up for the message so much as an opportunity for us to see and celebrate all the things God has done and is doing in His world among His people. Thanks for this refreshing perspective, Chris Nye.
Good point, Lawrence. What's to say of the wisemen than this, that God gave news to the world and invited them to see the Savior! The gifts of the Magi are nice but are rather unimportant, compared to the gift God has given them. The greater gift is God's holy Son, given for the salvation of the world. Hearing this, your congregation is wise to the ways of God. He cares for the world and sends the invitation to all. Those who hear are blessed and all who believe are glad!
At various stages of my preaching experience, I've unconsciously been on both sides of this issue. At times, I have felt guilty to realize I have made no specific application as I come near the end of my writing. In recent years, I have tended to think "I really need to show what this means to my listeners." Yesterday with the wise men from the lectionary, I probably spent nearly half time "applying" their experience to our own. So this approach from Chris Nye deserves -- demands? -- new consideration. Thank you.
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