The Marinade

I love to grill. Eskai will find a new marinade online and it is just a matter of time before we use it. Marinades tend to work better the longer you let the meat sit in the mixture. Now it is true that some marinades can overpower so you have to be careful to not let some sit too long, but in general the longer you let the meat sit the better.

I think marinating is a great metaphor for my sermon preparation. On Monday afternoon in a booth at a local Panera, the marinade begins to come together. I read over the text several times. I try locate certain words that are important to understanding the text and chase down the meaning and nuance of the words. Parallel passages and other supporting verses are located to create a broader picture and explanation of the verse (the Bible is its own best commentary). Then I read what others have studied about the verses and consider their thoughts and scholarship on the text at hand.

Like any good marinade, it needs to sit. While the pieces are sitting in my head, a point or a story will come to mind that will begin to draw everything together. Sometimes that one thing doesn’t come until the whole sermon is written and the outline has had time to sit. The writing is easier when the point comes earlier, but sometimes the text has to do more work on me before it is ready to be presented.

When it all comes together and is ready to be presented, it can be quite powerful. The best sermons on the ones that have fully marinated in my life. In those situations it is no longer important that I am the one speaking, but it is God speaking through me as His word is displayed through me.

Just as a marinade effects and enhances the flavor of the meat, so does the Bible effect and enhance our life to draw out our best as we pursue God.

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~ by mikefoster on August 23, 2012.

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