Your Text Has Feelings (Pt. 3)
You know how to interpret the ideas of a preaching passage, but there's much more there. Why the emotion of a text is key to inspirational preachingSee theme
Inspiration in emotional release
If I am preaching the story of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus from John 11 (as I have at funerals and in other contexts), the resonance of the audience is usually palpable and the tension extremely high at this moment (vv. 22-24). It screams for release. We identify with Martha getting in God's face, index finger extended, expressing for all of us what we may never have the courage to say.
What answer could he possibly give her? Narrative tension is strong in every great story—it is what makes them great. It moves the audience to the edge of their seats. The roar of a home crowd is loudest when the winning touchdown is scored with seconds left. The greater tension produces the stronger release of emotion. People are ready to be inspired by this text, and I, as a preacher, should not disappoint them. God intended it to have this effect and to move people to faith and action.
Emotional hermeneutics ...