We have been looking at how to preach in one of my classes and this week we looked at how to preach a narrative sermon. Though these are not something you can do all the time, occasionally turning the message into a story can be a really effective way of getting the message across, especially at Christmas and Easter when you may well be treading a well worn path of readings that everyone has heard many times before. I have never done a sermon in this way before as quite frankly there were some absolute masters of this form of preaching in my sending church and I would never have dared to put myself within range of comparison. With this in mind I rather panicked when we were sent away with a bible passage and 20 minutes to put together a sermon. But you know, it was rather fun and my fellow classmates came back with some absolutely stunning work. Mine was less so but nevertheless for a first attempt I was quite pleased. You can judge for yourself below….
I go down to the graveyard ever week. I wish I could go more often but there is just no time. I seem to be endlessly busy trying to make ends meet these days. It’s been 9 months since my Joseph died – 9 months I can’t believe it’s been so long. It still feels like it happened just yesterday,
It was different going there today, well for a start there were the guards. Guards, I ask you! Did they think anyone was going to escape from there? “We’re guarding the tomb of Jesus” they said, “There are rumours people are going to steal the body” they said. They were all set on keeping me out but there was no way that was going to happen! That preacher Jesus had already prevented me from coming to see Joseph last week, I couldn’t get through the city the crowds were so big. Well he was not stopping me again, I just pushed my way through, the guards didn’t stop me.
I had been there awhile , just chatting away as you do. Not talking about anything in particular. Joseph always used to say I rabbited on to much, he would laugh that I still am doing it…still he has an excuse not to listen now.
Anyway I had been there awhile when I became aware of a group of women who had come in. It was hard not to be aware to be honest, they were wailing and sobbing so much, holding each other up as if they would collapse any minute. They must have lost someone very recently. I know that kind of grief, so raw its as if you can’t breath, so fresh that the world has ceased to make sense.
Well I was watching them, remembering what that was like, re-living a little the days after we buried Joseph and then – you will never believe it, there was this massive earthquake, here in
The women though, they had stopped wailing and were standing there enraptured, the man was talking to them. I strained to hear, I thought I had misheard. Jesus wasn’t dead, he was alive. How could that be! I had seen him die, most of
The women ran off so quick as the message ended, they dropped the herbs and bundles they had been carrying. As they ran though they stopped short for there on the path ahead of them stood a man, a man who greeted them. It couldn’t be, could it? That voice, that face, it can’t be! I saw him die!
The women knew though, they fell at his feet, clutching at him. They knew… I then I knew. “Don’t be afraid” he said and you know something I wasn’t. For the first time in 9 months I was without fear. Jesus wasn’t the only one to come to new life that day. I realised truly for the first time that death is not the end, just a point on the continuing journey.
I had new life that day – do you?