I can honestly say that I never fully appreciated Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 2:3 until I started preaching a few months ago. In that passage Paul says, “And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling”. As I’ve preached recently I’ve had my fair share of weakness, fear, and much trembling. To be honest this has been something of a surprise for me. I’ve been teaching for years now, and whether I’m speaking to 6 or 60 I almost never feel any sort of nervousness.
But preaching, of course, is different from teaching. In teaching you come from a position of strength, in preaching, from a position of weakness. In teaching you come to inform, in preaching, to reform. As one friend said to me recently, “Preaching makes us weak because what we preach first points at ourselves.” In teaching we can be somewhat detached, and what we say doesn’t always cut us to the quick in the way preaching tends to. I’ve never felt as weak as when I come to preach. Yet it’s also in these opportunities that I’m learning how to lean on the Lord in whole new ways.
I’ve recently uploaded some new audio to the Teaching & Preaching page of the blog. There’s an Overview of Exodus I taught for a midweek meeting, as well as the sermons I recently preached at East Hull Presbyterian Church. The morning sermon was called “Grace, Godliness, & Glory” from Titus 2:11-14, and the evening message was entitled, “Yet I will Rejoice in the Lord” from Habakkuk 3:17-19. As Paul says elsewhere, may God’s strength be made perfect in my weakness.