Monday, 16 May 2011

John 14:1-14 on first sight

Over the last 2 years that I have been preaching I have been presented with a few lectionary selections which have made me wish I could go off piste. But nothing like the feeling this Monday Morning.

I am preaching at the main service this Sunday, something which always adds that little extra pressure than preaching at any other service. I can't really explain why, it's my stuff rather than anything to do with the service or the congregation or even expectation.

And then I open the lectionary, see the readings for the day and read John 14:1-14.....whoa!!!

I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling pretty overwhelmed at the thought of preaching on this part of Jesus' teaching. I take comfort in knowing that others will be feeling equally as concerned and worried about it. But let's face it, that's no real comfort.

There are so many issues in this passage that can be devisive, so many complicated doctrinal questions that many have struggled to find answers to over the centuries.

I am afraid today; full of fear that I can not write and preach well enough to meet the expectations of this passage. But I also know that I do not preach alone; I preach with the Holy Spirit in my mind, in my heart and on my lips and that is what will get me through this week.


Anne said...

Emma, You don't have to tackle all the complicated doctrinal questions, or give answers to all the divisive passages, or even preach on the whole passage. All you have to do is to take one part of the passage that speaks to you, consider what God is saying to you through that particular bit, and share that with your congregation.
Remember, someone will be preaching on this every three years - so it's not your responsibility to answer all the questions on Sunday.
Trust in God's inspiration that will lead you to preach what God wants you to communicate to your particular congregation at this time.

Emma Major said...

thanks Anne, I will be reminding myself of this through the week

Red said...

not sure if this is helpful but I like this passage because it shows that even though the disciples were with Jesus, they still had to ask, as Philip says, show us the Father... even they had issues with faith! Maybe it would be comforting to those who find it hard to believe, or to believe that God can speak to them, or to keep faith when things are going wrong, or badly... but as you say the spirit will guide you. often it's those times when we really have to rely on God that he blesses us most, so I pray he will really speak to you about this passage :)
red x

Karen said...

I see the passage as a strong reminder and affirmation of Jesus' close relationship to God and that through him and in him is a path to God. Also the end verse reminds me that we should not use Jesus' name as means to receiving all we ask for, but using the name of Jesus to represent our acknowledgement of who he is. Jesus was pointing out he was the personfication of God's perfect plan, not the representation of it, which affirms John's opening verse at 1v1 in the beginning was the Word (Jesus). What a great passage to get your teeth into - I'm reckoning you'll do a great job - will be praying for you. x