Wrestling with the Text

The next characteristic of great preaching that the preachers described in Preaching with Power is “The Importance of Wrestling with the Text.”

LaRue notes that this is a “serious engagement with the text.” Commentaries should not be referred to too quickly. If you do that you might short circuit the creative juices. Don’t go to others before you have pulled out of the text everything that you can.

LaRue stated that one preacher said that we should “walk up and down the street on which the Scripture lives.” By that we must place ourselves in the scripture. We must breath in the air of the scripture, we should smell the aroma of the fresh fruit of the tree of life. We should smell the stench of the rotting flesh of the one that has leprosy. We should feel the winds as the boat that the disciples were in almost capsized before Jesus spoke “Peace be Still.” We should see the waters of the Red Sea part as Moses lifts his hands.

Basically, we must experience the scripture with all our senses before we have adequately exegeted it, definitely before we go to the commentaries to see what others have said about the text.

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Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

Posted in blog, Preaching, Preaching Methods

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Revised Common Lectionary
Proper 14 (February 26, 2017)
  • OT: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
  • Psalm: Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b
  • Epistle: Romans 10:5-15
  • Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33
Af Am Heritage Lectionary
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