Two comments. A friend from Seminary, Brandt Hoffmann, pointed me at a site called Wordle. It is a site created by an IBM research employee that creates Word Clouds from any text. A word cloud is like the image above. The bigger the word, the more it is used in the text. This is the word cloud created from this sermon. The word cloud is linked to the full text of the sermon. Second comment is about how that word cloud is a good ‘at a glance’ view of the sermon. The sermon should be about Jesus and God’s work of reconciling sinners to himself. Seeing Jesus, and God and Word and Compassion as ‘big words’ in the cloud is a good sign.
Exegetical Point: Abundance flows from God when the kingdom is proclaimed
Focus Statement: God richly blesses his people with a multitude of graces
Function Statement: That my listeners would begin to realize the abundant grace of God and bring people to Jesus
I’ve been experimenting the past couple of weeks. Last week with telling stories. This week with emphasizing the narrative of the text. I suppose (I know) people might disagree with the narrative reading placed on this section of Matthew, but I also know that it is defendable. Discipleship is a key message within the Gospel. The goal, as stated at the start of the sermon is to connect people with the narrative of the Gospel, to bring it to life. Especially in the middle of the long green season of Pentecost, spending extra time on the story and less on dogmatic points seems appropriate.
My biggest criticism might be the long introduction. I think it was ‘underware’ and should have been left out. It was more my rationale for the format of the sermon than proclamation. I debated that before including, and eventually decided it shows a little of the preacher’s thought process which for a preacher new to the congregation isn’t such a bad thing. Still, it defends what comes next instead of advancing the main point.