Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Amos Challenge

Yesterday I preached my 1st draft of sermon in Homiletics class. The passage : Amos 5:18-24 - the 1st woe oracle and writings of warning and destruction, God's hates our worship. Not an easy text to deliver. It was a 20min sermon and according to Sammy's experience, 20min needs 2400 words and a 30min sermon needs 2600 words. He's quite accurate - my script was 2425 words and I took 18min!

Bobby, Kim Hock, Steven Lee, Samadi and King Ping was in the same group preaching along side with me. As usual, Ah Lian is busy setting up the "camera" - his handphone and then later pass the file to us ... efficient.

Some thoughts on this experience :
a) Experience and background of a person does make a difference.
There is similarity by the way Bob and KHock preach ---- traces of City Harvest training. M amazed by Kim Hock's preaching -- this man is amazing. He is not only able to expound the text but also connect the text (OT) with Jesus (NT) and on top of that he coated it with lots of quotes, sayings and also illustrations .... humor ....eeemmm ... and he does not refer much to his text --charismatic speaker. One can detect the similarity between KHock and Bob - CT Harvest mold. I as enjoyed KPing's message and style, but different from the other two based on his exposure and background.

From the list of people preaching yesterday, there is a clear difference in the people who have been preaching and those who do not have the experience in preaching. I for sure do not have much experience in preaching - still needs to work hard on this ... I still have much to improve in style, articulation, expressing my thoughts clearly and making it interesting ... preaching in some ways has also got to do with skill - public speaking and teaching. Having said that, I also believe that God have a soft spot for weaknesses. Only when we are weak, we get desperate with God to ask Him to help us, making us dependent on Him and not on ourselves.

b) Preaching is tiring business
After "preaching"or reading my 10page script. Yes, I feel so drained and tired. Why I wonder ... no wonder John Sung's request in the home that host his stay during his preaching and teaching assignments - is that the host has to prepare him kampung herbal chicken soup. He needs the extra boaster of energy and I guess those days, supplements and vitamins have not found their way into the global market.

To preach, one has not only prepare spiritually, emotionally, mentally but also physically -- we need physical strength to be able to carry the Gospel effectively.

c) My message & thoughts
I think and ponder, reflected and wondered what and how I will preach from Amos 5. After all, I am the 4th person preaching from the same text. But at the end, what I wanted to share from my reflection is just 2 points :
i) What if we are asked by God to carry an Amos message - a message of rebuke, a message of confrontation to repeated unrepentant sin, injustice .... what would our response be? Will we walk away and ignore the truth, pretending nothing happen? Or will we be bold and obedient like Amos?

ii) God hates outward worship ..... what God desires in inward. True worship comes from obedience and not sacrifices. True worship comes with circumcised heart. A true worshiper of God will reflect God's glory through transformation of life.

Question : Is there any hidden sin that we need to deal with or a part in our life that we need to change before we leave TTC so that we can step out of the doors of TTC a cleansed and molded vessel leading God's people true worship and not just outward meaningless worship.

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